Iran-US tensions: ‘There will be no war’, says Zarif

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is seen in Tokyo, Japan Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif says people around US President Trump are “pushing him towards war”

Iran’s foreign minister has said he does not believe a war will break out in the region amid concerns over rising tensions with the US.

Mohammad Javad Zarif told state news agency IRNA that Tehran did not want a war, and that no country had the “idea or illusion that it can confront Iran”.

The US has deployed warships and planes to the Gulf in recent days over what it has described as Iranian “threats”.

But US President Donald Trump has said he wants to avoid conflict.

Speaking to IRNA at the end of a visit to China on Saturday, Mr Zarif said Mr Trump “does not want war but the people around him are pushing him towards war under the pretext of making America stronger against Iran.”

But, he said: “There will be no war because neither we want a war, nor has anyone the idea or illusion that it can confront Iran in the region.”

The latest tensions between the two countries came after Iran suspended its commitments under the international nuclear deal and threatened to resume production of enriched uranium.

The 2015 deal aimed to cut sanctions on Iran in exchange for an end to its nuclear programme, but the US withdrew from it last year and imposed new sanctions.

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Media captionThe BBC’s Paul Adams looks at the recent developments behind the US-Iran tensions

The US has deployed warships and planes to the Gulf this month, citing a potential threat to US forces by Iran.

It has also ordered the departure of “non-emergency employees” from Iraq amid the escalating tensions.


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