War btw. Iran, US not imminent, but “accidents can happen”

TEHRAN, May 03 (MNA) – In an interview with British online newspaper The Independent, Iranian FM Zarif was quoted as saying although he doesn’t think war between Iran and the United States is imminent, “accidents can happen”.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke to The Independent at Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations a few days ago, while he was in New York to address a High-Level Meeting of the UN General Assembly on the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.

In the interview published on Thursday, Zarif was quoted as saying that although he doesn’t think war between Iran and the United States is imminent, “accidents can happen” that could then spiral into a military conflict. 

Elaborating on these “accidents”, Zarif gave the example of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway where most of the world’s oil exporters pass through.

He also mentioned the January 2016 incident in the Persian Gulf when two US Navy boats trespassed into Iranian waters and were captured by the IRGC.

Zarif then talked about the prisoner swap with the United States, saying it would be between Americans detained in Iran and Iranians detained for sanctions violations in the US or elsewhere. The swap, he elaborated, would not include Europeans like British-Iranian dual national Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained in Iran on security charges.

Asked about his interview with Fox News, Zarif said he wanted to reach out to Trump’s base in mainstream America “because it is important to speak to the other side sometimes”. He added that this was not his first interview with Fox and that he had talked to the channel years ago when he was Iran’s ambassador at the United Nations in New York. 

While speaking to Fox, the Iranian top diplomat had said the “B-Team” is trying to drag President Trump into conflict with Iran. He explained that the B-Team includes Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and United Arab Emirates Prince Bin Zayed. He said that President Trump ran on a campaign promise of not bringing the US into another war.

MS/PR

News Code 144792

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