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Tue 7 Jan 2020 06:07 PM

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Iran foreign minister says America's days 'numbered' in Middle East

Javad Zarif tells CNN that deicision to kill Iran's top commander was an act of 'state terrorism'

Iran foreign minister says America's days 'numbered' in Middle East

Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif gave an interview to CNN on Tuesday.

Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif has called US President Donald Trump's decision to order the drone strike that killed the country's top military commander an act of "state terrorism" in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.

Zarif told CNN that America’s days in the region “are numbered” and warned of worse to come if the US did not reverse course.

“This is an act of aggression against Iran and amounts to an armed attack against Iran, and we will respond. But we will respond proportionally not disproportionally," he said.

"We will respond lawfully, we are not lawless people like President Trump." Zarif claimed that President Trump "is prepared to commit war crimes."

Zarif said the Trump administration's decision to abandon the nuclear deal Tehran negotiated with world powers and embrace hardline policies against Iran "destroyed stability" in the Middle East.

Iran's top diplomat said Trump "has no respect for international law and is prepared to commit war crimes -- attacking cultural sites is a war crime."

The interview came as Iran's parliament voted unanimously for a motion declaring all US forces as "terrorists" on Tuesday, according to Iran's state-news agency IRNA.

Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran's powerful Quds Force, was killed on Friday.

Zarif added: "A war was started a long time ago by the United States, the United States destroyed stability in this region, the United States undermined security in this region."

Zarif was a key player in the negotiations that led to the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Under the deal, the Iranian government agreed to strict limits on its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. Trump withdrew the US from the deal in 2018, arguing that it was too lenient on Tehran, and reenacted punitive measures that have strangled the Iranian economy.

Zarif claimed that by leaving the deal, Trump threw the Middle East into chaos.

"What is important is for the Trump regime to realise is that everything in this region was improving following the JCPOA," Zarif said.

"We saw normal elections in Iraq, normal elections in Lebanon ... we had the reduction of tensions in Syria ... what happened? The United States started a maximum pressure campaign, terrorizing the Iranian people, making it difficult for Iranians to even get food and medicine."

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