“There is a war going on right now. It’s an economic war — an economic war against Iran targets the civilian population,” Zarif told CNN in a recent interview.
He also noted that Trump is on the record saying “that he is not engaged in military war, but in an economic war,” adding that “economic war is nothing to be proud of, because, in a military confrontation, civilians may become collateral damage, but in an economic war, civilians are the primary targets.”
Asked about the possibility of a war with the US, Zarif said, “You cannot simply disregard a possibility of a disaster.”
“We’ve never started a war (and) we will never start a war, but we will defend ourselves and anybody who starts a war with Iran will not be the one who ends it,” he emphasized.
Tensions have been running high between Tehran and Washington since last year, when Trump unilaterally withdrew the US from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
Recently, the US has taken a quasi-warlike posture against Iran and stepped up its provocative military moves in the Middle East, among them the June 20 incursion of an American spy drone into the Iranian borders.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) shot down the advanced US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk over Iran’s territorial waters off the coastal province of Hormozgan after the unmanned aircraft breached the country’s airspace on a spying mission.