As the Trump administration continues to level evidence-free accusations against Iran and dangerously escalate the risk of another catastrophic war in the Middle East, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Thursday that his country is acting with "maximum restraint" in the face of U.S. belligerence and denounced threats of force by White House officials.
"We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for."
—Javad Zarif, Iranian Foreign Minister
"We believe that escalation by the United States is unacceptable and uncalled for," Zarif told reporters during a meeting with Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono in Tokyo.
Iran is exercising "maximum restraint in spite of the fact the United States withdrew from [the] JCPOA last May," said Zarif, referring to the Iran nuclear accord.
As Common Dreams reported last week, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged diplomacy and pressured European nations to uphold their end of the nuclear accord as the Trump administration refuses to return to the negotiating table.
"The path we have chosen today is not the path of war, it is the path of diplomacy," said Rouhani.
The Iranian president's comments came just days after Trump national security adviser John Bolton used the routine deployment of a U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf to threaten Iran with military force.
In a tweet on Tuesday, Zarif said he predicted military "accidents" resulting from the Trump administration's continued escalation of tensions in the region, a concern that has been echoed by anti-war voices and foreign policy analysts in recent days.
"In interviews in April, I predicted 'accidents”—not because I'm a genius—but because B-Team is so brazenly following John Bolton's script," Zarif wrote.
In interviews in April, I predicted “accidents”—not because I'm a genius— but because #B_Team is so brazenly following @AmbJohnBolton's script (https://t.co/beCZByEaCT).
After all, half of B-Team were co-conspirators in disastrous Iraq war.
Stark reminder https://t.co/ksCi9ntp85 pic.twitter.com/hpkGaap8aC
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) May 14, 2019
The "B-Team," as Zarif has termed it, consists of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"After all," Zarif tweeted, "half of [the] B-Team were co-conspirators in [the] disastrous Iraq war."