Zarif: Suicide to engage in a war with Iran
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warns that it would be 'suicidal' to start a war with Iran.
Earlier in the week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a statement that was translated by his office as urging 'war with Iran.' Israeli officials tried to soften the reference by altering the English translation, but it nonetheless startled Iranians and even the White House.
Zarif also said that the 'same gang' behind the 2003 Iraq War are 'at it again' in pushing for war with his country.
"I'm not saying President Trump's administration, I'm saying people in President Trump’s administration are trying to create the same eventuality and I believe they will fail," he said.
Zarif also appeared to dismiss the idea of renegotiating the landmark 2015 Iran nuclear deal that aimed to curb the country's weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief.
On Iran's missile program, Zarif confirmed that his country had suffered two failed attempts to launch satellites over the past two months. He said it was possible this was because of a sabotage campaign by the US as suggested by a New York Times report this week.
He said that Iran had already been investigating these failures but was now 'looking into the specifics' because of the story in The New York Times.
Zarif's comments came a day after Vice President Mike Pence accused Iran of pursuing 'another Holocaust,' while criticizing European allies for trying to undercut the US sanctions against the country.
Pence and Netanyahu attended an international conference the US organized in Warsaw on Thursday. Meanwhile, Iran, Russia, and NATO member Turkey met at a summit in the Russian city of Sochi to discuss the war in Syria.
The US-led conference in Warsaw was initially intended to coalesce support around Washington's desire to contain Iran, but the event was later broadened to cover the wider Middle East after some countries balked at the initial pitch, three foreign diplomats told NBC News.
Zarif said the Warsaw meeting was a 'huge failure' because it showed how 'totally isolated in the world' the US has become over Iran.
Asked whether Iran was open to revisiting the 2015 nuclear deal, Zarif said he saw no reason to do this because the original agreement was so complex and painstakingly negotiated.
"The nuclear deal was the result of 13 years of negotiations," he said. "We produced not the two-page document that President Trump signed with the chairman of North Korea but a 150-page document," he added, referring to Trump's accord with North Korea's Kim Jong Un last year that was widely criticized for being too brief and vague.
"You name it, they've withdrawn from it," he said. 208/103