In an interview with Reuters on Wednesday, Zarif called the Trump administration’s decision to blacklist the IRGC “absurd”.
He suggested that Iran did not plan to respond militarily to the move unless the United States changed the rules of engagement guiding how it interacts with Iran’s forces.
“We will exercise prudence but it doesn’t mean that if the United States changed the rules of the game, or changed the rules of engagement, it would be able to get away with that,” Zarif said.
When asked if US warships could still pass through the Strait of Hormuz, Zarif said, “Ships can go through the Strait of Hormuz.”
“If the United States wanted to continue to observe the rules of engagement, the rules of the game, the channels of communication, the prevailing protocols, then in spite of the fact that we consider US presence in the Persian Gulf as inherently destabilizing, we’re not going to take any action,” Zarif said.
Elsewhere in the interview, the Iranian minister signaled Tehran would be resilient in the face of US sanctions.
“I mean there are always ways of going around the sanctions. We have a PhD in that area,” Zarif said.
The United States on Monday demanded buyers of Iranian oil stop purchases by May or face sanctions, ending six months of waivers which allowed Iran’s eight biggest buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue importing limited volumes.
Zarif said that oil sanctions hurt ordinary Iranians and the government would do whatever it could to sell oil to provide for its citizens.