Zarif warns Trump ‘never threaten an Iranian’, advises him that only ‘respect works’

May 20, 2019 - 17:15

TEHRAN – After U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday ratcheted up his rhetoric against Tehran, threatening to “end” Iran if it wants to fight, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday warned Trump “never threaten and Iranian” and advised the president to “try respect and it works”.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” Trump said in a tweet. “Never threaten the United States again!”

Reminding about history, Zarif said the B-Team and Trump want to achieve something that Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan (the founder and first Great Khan of the Mongol Empire) “failed to do”.

Responding via Twitter, Zarif also said, “Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone.”

The Trump administration has introduced the harshest ever sanctions against Tehran in line with the policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran, a policy that Iran has called “economic war”.

Zarif said “economic terrorism” and threat of genocide won’t “end” Iran.

“Goaded by #B_Team, @realDonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. #EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran’.” 

The B-Team includes Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel (known as bibi), Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ).

“Never threaten an Iranian. Try respect—it works,” he added.

The tweets come amid rising fears over a potential military confrontation between the two countries.

Earlier on Sunday, chief of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said the Islamic Republic is not looking for war with any country but is ready to counter any threat posed by the enemies.

“We are not looking for war and yet we are not afraid of it either, but on the other hand, our enemies lack the will to wage a war and are afraid of fighting,” Major General Hossein Salami said.

In an interview with Fox News aired Sunday evening, Trump took a seemingly more subdued tone toward Iran.

“I just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons, and they can’t be threatening us. And with all of everything that’s going on, and I’m not one that believes – you know, I’m not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly – by far most importantly,” Trump said.

“I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons – you just can’t let that happen,” he added.

Recently, Zarif ruled out prospect of talks with the United States, calling Washington a “bully” who is trying to force all others into acting illegally.

In early May, the U.S. deployed warships and warplanes to the Middle East.

Tensions escalated even further after an incident with four tankers off the United Arab Emirates on May 12.

Iran has condemned the attack as “dreadful” and a lawmaker said Iranian suspicions fell on Israel.


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