Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is denying his country would interfere with the upcoming US presidential election and says his government doesn’t have a preference in the race. In an interview to air Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Zarif also accuses the U.S. of initiating a cyberwar with his country and warns that “any war the United States starts it won’t be able to finish.”
When “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd noted that US intelligence included Iran among the countries attempting to interfere with the US election, Zarif responded, “We don’t have a preference in your election to intervene in that election.”
“We don’t interfere in the internal affairs of another country,” Zarif said later.
“But there is a cyber war going on.”
President Hassan Rouhani said on Friday that Iran’s abidance by nuclear inspections proves it does not seek to develop atomic weapons. “Some were saying this third step, that you want to set up modern centrifuges, means that you are moving towards a nuclear weapon. We explained that someone who wants a nuclear weapon... limits comprehensive inspections. We have not reduced inspections,” said Rouhani on state television.
Iran fired up advanced centrifuges to boost its enriched uranium stockpiles on September 7 as the latest scaling back of commitments under the crumbling 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
Last year, the relations between Washington and Tehran soared after US President Donald Trump pulled out of a nuclear accord with Iran, negotiated under former president Barack Obama.
The United States also imposed sanctions on Iran’s sovereign wealth fund, whose board of trustees includes President Hassan Rouhani, as well as Etemad Tejarate Pars, a company that the Treasury Department said had sent money internationally on behalf of Iran’s defence ministry.
Earlier, Trump while addressing the UNGA had already ruled out any possibility of easing economic pressure on Iran. Tensions between Iran and US ratcheted up after the Trump administration announced that it would unilaterally force all countries to stop buying Iran’s oil, which is its major export.