The US "cannot expect to stay safe" from the fallout of the "economic war" that it has unleashed against Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said.
Speaking alongside German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Tehran on Monday, Zarif said that "Mr. Trump himself has announced that the US has launched an economic war against Iran," and emphasised that "the only solution for reducing tensions in this region is stopping that economic war."
Commenting on the growing tensions between Washington and Tehran, including the US move to deploy a carrier strike group in the Middle East, Zarif hinted that Iran was not intimidated, warning that "whoever starts a war with us will not be the one who finishes it."
Iran's foreign ministry has since slammed the restrictions, saying they proved the "hollow" nature of earlier US talk about possible negotiations with Iran, and dismissing the US strategy of "maximum pressure," calling it a "defeated policy" which had no success by the Trump administration's predecessors.
Earlier, Zarif encouraged other countries to ditch the dollar as the basis for international trade, suggesting that much of Washington's global economic influence would "go away" if nations did so.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated in May 2018, when the US unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Iran nuclear deal and slapped Iran with a series of sanctions against its banking and energy sectors. Last month, the US scrapped sanctions waivers to over half a dozen major importers of Iranian oil, and parked a carrier strike group in the Middle East, claiming the presence of a "credible threat" against the US and its regional interests by Iran and its allies.