Tehran ‘unmoved’ by US threats, will use weapons ‘only in self-defense’ – Iranian FM to Trump
The foreign minister posted two videos on Twitter, with the tweets reading: “Iran unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people. We'll never initiate war, but we can only rely on our own means of defense.”
He also challenged those who warn Iran, accusing them of hypocrisy.
“We will never use our weapons against anyone, except in self-defense. Let us see if any of those who complain can make the same statement,” Zarif wrote.
In the two videos posted on his Twitter account, Zarif is seen explaining Iran’s stance in a previous speech.
“You were not the subject of war, where your cities were showered with missiles carrying chemical warheads, and you didn’t have a single missile to retaliate, so that maybe Saddam Hussein would stop,” he said, referring to the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s.
“We went to one country after another, begging – I insist, begging – for a single scud missile to defend our people. Now, you want us to get a few dollars, and to abandon defending our people,” he goes on to say, adding that Iran is “entitled to the rudimentary means of defense.”
On Monday, Fox News quoted US officials as saying that Iran had conducted medium-range ballistic missile tests. Iran confirmed that it had tested the missile, and that the launch was "in line" with its plans.
"We will not allow foreigners to interfere in our defense affairs," Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan told Tasnim news agency on Wednesday.
Trump’s comments have also been condemned by the Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council, Mohsen Rezaei, who said there were more powerful leaders than Trump who tried to threaten Iran, but they failed “to do anything.”
“Those who were bigger than you warned Iran and were not able to do anything (against the country),” Rezaei said, according to Tasnim News Agency.
Rezaei said the new US president should remain vigilant and not fall for Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking “Mr. Trump, think twice.”
Zarif’s tweets came after the US President Trump attacked Tehran, saying that “Iran is playing with fire,” and warning the country’s officials that he would not be as “kind” as former President Barack Obama.
A historic deal brokered during Obama’s time in office stated that Iran would curb its nuclear potential significantly, but not completely, cutting the number of its centrifuges by two-thirds.
The deal also obliged Iran to cap its uranium enrichment program below the level necessary for bomb-grade material, and involved Tehran agreeing to reduce its enriched uranium stockpile from around 10,000kg to 300kg for 15 years. In exchange, the US lifted long-standing sanctions against Tehran.
The UN has only recently said that Tehran is honoring its part of the bargain.