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No such thing as ‘short war’ with Iran – foreign minister

No such thing as ‘short war’ with Iran – foreign minister
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif issued a damning post on Twitter, slamming Donald Trump’s policy and ridiculing his claim that war with the Middle Eastern nation would be a quick affair.

Zarif, who has served under President Hassan Rouhani since 2013, said that a “short war with Iran is an illusion.” In four other bullet points, he takes down Trump’s policies one-by-one. In the first, he pointed out that sanctions are not an alternative to war but, in fact, itself constitutes an act of war. In another, he states that Trump’s reference to the “obliteration” of Iran amounts to a threat of genocide, which is a war crime.

Echoing previous statements from his government that Iran will not enter into negotiations until Washington stops issuing threats, he said that the two things are “mutually exclusive.” And in a possible reference to previous US military intervention in the Middle East, he said: “Whoever begins war will not be the one ending it.”

The tweet appears to be in response to statements that Trump made the previous day, claiming that a war with Iran “wouldn’t last very long.” In an interview with Fox Business News, the US leader indicated that he didn’t want war with Iran but that “we’re in a very strong position if something should happen.”

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The exchange comes amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran. About a week earlier reports emerged that the Trump administration was poised to launch airstrikes against Iran in response to the shooting down of a US drone, but backed down with just minutes to go. Washington claims the drone was shot down in international air space, which Tehran denies, saying the aircraft entered its territory. Previously, the Trump administration also accused Iran of attacking oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, which Iran also denies. 

The tweet was posted a day before Iranian officials are set to meet with European Union member states, along with Russia and China, at a summit in Vienna. The talks are hoped to determine ways to bypass the sanctions reimposed by Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the Obama-era nuclear deal.

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