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‘There will be no war in Gulf region,’ despite wishes of Trump’s ‘B Team’ – Iran’s Zarif

‘There will be no war in Gulf region,’ despite wishes of Trump’s ‘B Team’ – Iran’s Zarif
Armed conflict will not break out because nobody has any “illusions” about seriously going against Iran, the nation’s foreign minister said amid the recent escalation with Washington and its regional allies.

“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,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told IRNA on Saturday, during a trip to Beijing.

However, there are people in President Donald Trump’s circle that “look for pretexts” to steer the country into a war with Iran, even if Trump personally does not want that to happen, the minister said. Zarif had earlier warned about the designs of the foreign policy hardliners from what he dubbed as ‘B Team,’ which includes Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton.

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The tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated last week after reports of attacks on four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers, off the Emeriti coast, near the entrance to the Persian Gulf. No one had claimed responsibility for the alleged incident but the news added to the fear of a bigger conflict erupting.

The US deployed an aircraft carrier strike group to the Gulf and, on Wednesday, ordered a partial evacuation of its embassy and a consulate in Iraq, bordering with Iran. This coincided with the reports that the Pentagon had proposed to send up to 120,000 troops in Iraq in case Iran opens hostilities.

The relations between the US and Iran have been deteriorating since President Trump opted to abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program last year, accusing the Islamic Republic of violating the agreement. He then re-imposed sanctions on Iran, targeting the nation’s oil trade and finances.

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Iran denied the allegations and chose to stick with the JCPOA until last week when the country partially suspended its own commitments under the deal. Iranian officials explained that they will lift some restrictions on the production of enriched uranium and heavy water at a research site in Arak.

President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran gives other JCPOA parties, including the European Union, 60 days to negotiate the reversal of these actions.

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