Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif does not believe that a war between Iran and the US was imminent or inevitable, but does not exclude the possibility of some "accident" 'spiraling' into a military conflict.
Speaking to The Independent, the foreign minister indicated that the Strait of Hormuz, a key waterway through which some 20 percent of the world's oil supplies pass, may be the spark that could ignite a war, particularly in the event of a lack of communication between the US military and Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, with each side recently labeling the other as "terrorists," in this narrow passageway.
Zarif spent much of last week in the US, making appearances on US media and speaking to policy experts about the dangers of another war in the Middle East. The trip included an interview with Fox News, during which the foreign minister said he felt President Trump himself had no interest in war, but that some of his officials and US allies, including National Security Advisor John Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and UAE Prince Bin Zayed, were interested in "dragging the United States into a conflict."
In a separate event last week, Zarif warned that Iran would continue selling its oil abroad despite US threats and warned that Washington should prepare to face "consequences" if it took "the crazy measure" of trying to prevent Iran from selling its oil.
In late 2018, the US granted eight major importers of Iranian oil with temporary waivers exempting them from the possible US secondary sanctions. The wavers formally expired on Thursday, with the US Treasury giving no indication of any plans to extend them. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have promised to increase oil production to substitute Iranian oil, with Iran warning that its fellow OPEC members' policy would not be left unanswered.