Zarif: No one has the illusion it can confront Iran

Iran’s Foreign Minister dismisses the possibility of war despite escalating confrontation with the United States.

Ben Ariel ,

Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Saturday dismissed the possibility of war erupting in the Middle East despite an escalating confrontation with the United States, Reuters reports.

“There will be no war because neither do we want a war, nor has anyone the idea or illusion it can confront Iran in the region,” Zarif said at the conclusion of a visit to Beijing.

Tensions between the two countries has increased in recent days after the US military deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Middle East in a move meant to counter “clear indications” of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.

Earlier this week the United States pulled some diplomatic staff from its embassy in neighboring Iraq following attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf.

The tensions began after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 deal last May later imposed two rounds of sanctions against Iran.

Earlier this month, Zarif announced that that Iran will reduce some “voluntary” commitments within its nuclear deal with world powers but will not withdraw from it.

Following Zarif’s announcement, the US imposed new sanctions on Iran’s iron, steel, aluminum, and copper sectors.

“The fact is that Trump has officially said and reiterated again that he does not want a war, but people around him are pushing for war on the pretext that they want to make America stronger against Iran,” Zarif said on Saturday, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile un Tehran, Major General Hossein Salami, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, said on Saturday that Iran had nothing to fear from the United States, which he said was in decline.

“The US political system is full of cracks. Though impressive-looking, it has osteoporosis. In fact, America’s story is like the World Trade Center towers that collapse with a sudden blow,” claimed Salami, in a reference to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

Even after the deployment of the aircraft and carrier and bombers to the Middle East, Trump urged the Iranian regime to agree to talks with the US aimed at ending its nuclear program

Last week it was reported that after Trump publicly appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions with Tehran, the White House contacted the Swiss to share the phone number.

Iran, however, rejected the overture, with Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi saying, “The solution does not lie in the mediations or the phone call and the US has our phone numbers too.”

On Friday, a US official said the United States is "sitting by the phone" but has heard no message yet from Iran that it is willing to accept Trump's overtures for direct talks.

"We think they should de-escalate and come to negotiations," the official, who declined to be identified, said.