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Zarif says Trump responsible for escalation with Iran

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Feb 15, IRNA -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Saturday that US President Donald Trump is responsible for escalation with Iran and it is up to Trump to de-escalate by lifting the inhumane sanctions on Iran.

Speaking to the US TV, 'NBC', Zarif said, "Well, the United States hit at the wrong place, at the wrong time, and these are the consequences and we can't control the consequences, nor can the United States."

I mean, people are responsible for the consequences of their actions and I think people who initiated this, need to walk back."

"It's unfortunate that the United States, based on misinformation, based on ignorance and arrogance, combined on a course that has brought the region very close to the brink," Zarif said.

Commenting on Iran missile attack on US base in Iraq after the US terrorist attack against motorcade of Commander of the Islamic Republic of Iran to assassinate Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani, he said "We wanted to show to the United States that they could not bully Iran."

He noted: "Actions against Iran will have repercussions, but the intention was not to kill anybody."

"The intention was to send a message, a very clear message to the United States, that if they kill Iranians, we will hit back."

Elaborating on General Soleimani's mission, Iranian top diplomat said: "Soleimani was working at "containing people from engaging in actual military operations against anybody."

"This was his job. This was what he was trying to do, to contain the situation," he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Zarif referred to deciphering the information of the crashed Ukrainian plane, saying: " We have asked for help, why haven't the United States helped us? This is a humanitarian issue. Why haven't they given us the software? Why haven't they given us the expertise?"

"There are still a lot of unknowns. That's why we want more than anybody else to know what is in the black box, to know what actually happened."

"We will not touch the black box without the presence of all interested parties," he noted.

After the US escalation in the Middle East by assassinating Iran's Lieutenant-General Qasem Soeimani, the country took reciprocal action and hit the US airbase in Iraq with missiles.

Iran's military had been put on alert to counter any US adventurism. But unintentionally, a Ukrainian Boeing 737 was shot down near Tehran minutes after takeoff.

Iranian officials have admitted that human error was the cause of downing the passenger plane and expressed regret and apologized for the tragedy.


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