Iranian FM: Trump Doesn’t Want War, but Conflict Could Still Arise
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Reuters on Wednesday he did not believe that US President Donald Trump wanted war with Iran, but that he nonetheless could be lured into a conflict. “I don’t think he wants war, but that doesn’t exclude him being basically lured into one…. Iran is not seeking confrontation, but will not escape defending itself,” he told the news outlet, adding that Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu could goad him into a conflict with the Islamic Republic. Tensions between Tehran and Washington have peaked since Trump withdrew last year from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions. The US added salt to the wounds on Monday by announcing it would not extend its May 2 deadline for certain countries that are heavily reliant on Iranian oil to end their purchases. Earlier this month, the US blacklisted Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), marking the first time any nation has labeled another country’s military a terrorist organization.