Zarif Said The US And Iran Were On The Verge Of War Over The Murder Of Suleimani
After the assassination by the United States of the commander of the Iranian branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Qasem Suleimani Tehran and Washington were on the verge of war, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with NBC News.
"Unfortunately, the United States, based on misinformation, acting ignorantly and arrogantly, focused on a course that brought the region very close to the edge of the abyss. We were very close to war," Zarif said.
He said that at the height of the crisis in January after the elimination of Suleimani, US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo wrote Iran a "highly inappropriate letter," to which Tehran gave a strong response. Pompeo's letter contained "threats," Zarif said, adding that it was beneath his dignity to repeat the contents of the message.
"Let him (Pompeo - if) say what he wrote in this letter, "the Iranian Foreign Minister said, noting that Tehran's response was "not as impolite" as the message from the American Secretary of state.
Asked about the risk of an unintended war Zarif said: "The United States struck in the wrong place at the wrong time, and this has consequences. But we, like the United States, cannot control the consequences. I mean, people are responsible for the consequences of their actions, and I think those who initiated everything should step back."
Also, the head of the Iranian Foreign Ministry pointed to the deterioration of the tone in relations between Tehran and Washington. According to him, during the administration of former US President Barack Obama, when he had a chance to communicate with former us Secretary of state John Kerry, "this did not happen."
"I am still the same foreign Minister who treated John Kerry with respect," Zarif said.
Thus, the Iranian diplomat put the responsibility for the crisis in US-Iran relations on the administration of the current President Donald Trump.
On January 3, the US military conducted a special operation near the airport in Baghdad, as a result of which Suleimani, the head of the special unit "Quds" of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran, was killed. In response, Tehran launched missile strikes on two Iraqi military bases where military personnel from the US-led coalition against the is terrorist group are stationed