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US ‘cannot expect to stay safe,’ Iran threatens

Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif Speaks to the Media P5+1 Talks With Iran in Geneva, Switzerland. November 24, 2013. (Eric Bridiers/U.S. Mission Geneva)
June 11, 2019

Iran has issued direct threats to the United States indicating they haven’t ruled out the possibility of an attack on the U.S.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the U.S. “cannot expect to stay safe” after imposing an “economic war” on Iran, the Associated Press reported Monday.

“Mr. Trump himself has announced that the U.S. has launched an economic war against Iran,” Zarif said. “The only solution for reducing tensions in this region is stopping that economic war.”

“Whoever starts a war with us will not be the one who finishes it,” Zarif added.

Zarif made the threats while speaking to media alongside German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas after the two held meetings on the continuing tensions in the Persian Gulf, and discussions on salvaging the nuclear deal.

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After the talks, he took to Twitter to praise the talks, and concluded with a jab at the U.S.

“We concurred that dialog among regional countries is crucial. But @realDonaldTrump‘s ‘economic war’ is THE cause of all tensions,” Zarif tweeted.

State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said Zarif’s comments are “typical behavior” from Iran.

“We aren’t impressed,” she told the press. “Iran faces a simple choice: it can either behave like a normal nation or watch its economy crumble.”

Maas also met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who called upon Europe to act against the U.S. for “violating” the nuclear deal when it withdrew from the agreement.

“We expect Europe to stand up to the United States’ economic terrorism against the Iranian nation, living up to its commitments under the deal,” Rouhani said, according to Iranian media Fars News Agency.

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“In the past one year, we have not seen any serious acts from the side of Europe despite fairly good political stance; therefore, we have to make decisions and act in a way that is beneficial for us, you and all countries and the region,” Rouhani said, adding, “we believe that we have to stand up to those who deprive people of medicine and food.”

Iran has already made repeated threats in response to U.S. sanctions that have crippled the Iranian economy. Rouhani and other top officials repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a top shipping route for most of the world’s oil, and have even threatened attacks on Israel.

As a result of threats from Iran, the U.S. deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group, four B-52 bombers, a Patriot missile battery, and the USS Arlington to the Middle East.

Last month, President Trump also approved a plan to deploy 1,500 U.S. troops to the Middle East.