Amid mounting US-Iran tensions, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday said the “genocidal taunts” of US President Donald Trump will not end Iran. Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter, he wrote “Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. Economic terrorism and genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran’.” Iran-US relations hit a new low last year as US Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed unilateral sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for Tehran scaling back its nuclear program.
“Never threaten an Iranian. Try respect—it works!” he added.
In another tweet, Zarif accused Trump of allowing his team to “trash diplomacy” and “abet war crimes—by milking despotic butchers via massive arms sales”.
On Monday, Trump threatened to meet provocations by Iran with “great force. The president however said that he’s also willing to negotiate with the Islamic Republic. He says, “If they do something it will be met great force.” But he adds, “We have no indication that they will.” Still, he is not mincing his words, calling Iran “hostile” and the “No. 1 provocateur of terror.”
Earlier, Donald Trump had said if the Islamic republic attacks American interests, it will be destroyed. “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,” Trump said in a tweet. Tensions between US and Iran escalated after the US deployed a carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf over what it termed Iranian “threats.”
Tensions rose dramatically May 5, when Bolton announced that the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group would be rushed from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf ahead of schedule in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings," without going into details.
Since then, four oil tankers, including two belonging to Saudi Arabia, were targeted in an apparent act of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to officials in the region, and a Saudi pipeline was attacked by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen.