Iran to respond ‘lawfully’ to US act of ‘state terrorism’: Zarif

TEHRAN, Jan. 07 (MNA) – In an interview with CNN, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said the country’s response to US act of “state terrorism” in assassinating Lt. Gen. Soleimani would be ‘proportional’ and ‘lawful’.

Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called US President Donald Trump's decision to order the assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani an act of "state terrorism" in an interview with CNN Tuesday.

Zarif said the Trump administration's decision to abandon the nuclear deal Tehran negotiated with world powers and embrace hardline policies against Iran "destroyed stability" in the Middle East, and he warned of worse to come if the US did not reverse course.

"This is an act of aggression against Iran and amounts to an armed attack against Iran, and we will respond. But we will respond proportionally not disproportionally," he said. "We will respond lawfully, we are not lawless people like President Trump."

Zarif was referring to a tweet Trump sent Saturday in which the US president said that he would order strikes on Iran’s cultural sites, in case Iran carried out its promised revenge over the US assassination of Lt. Gen. Qasem Soleimani.

Iran's top diplomat said those comments showed Trump "has no respect for international law and is prepared to commit war crimes -- attacking cultural sites is a war crime."

The interview came as Iran's parliament voted unanimously for a motion declaring all US forces as "terrorists" on Tuesday.

"President Trump, after watching the crowds yesterday, must stop threatening these people who will be further enraged by his threats -- his threats will not frighten us," Zarif said.

He added, "A war was started a long time ago by the United States, the United States destroyed stability in this region, the United States undermined security in this region."

Zarif said that by leaving the nuclear deal, Trump threw the Middle East into chaos.

"What is important is for the Trump regime to realize that everything in this region was improving following the JCPOA," Zarif said.

"We saw normal elections in Iraq, normal elections in Lebanon ... we had the reduction of tensions in Syria ... what happened? The United States started a maximum pressure campaign, terrorizing the Iranian people, making it difficult for Iranians to even get food and medicine."


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