Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has responded to US President Donald Trump’s statement that Washington isn't pursuing “regime change” in Iran but instead sought to prevent Tehran from procuring nuclear weapons.
Zarif posted a Twitter response Monday where he rejected Iran’s nuclear weapons aspirations, and accused Washington of stoking regional tension by amassing extra forces in the Middle East, as well as “hurting the Iranian people”.
"Actions — not words — will show whether or not that's Donald Trump's intent," he argued.
Ayatollah @khamenei_ir long ago said we're not seeking nuclear weapons—by issuing a fatwa (edict) banning them.#B_Team's #EconomicTerrorism is hurting the Iranian people & causing tension in the region. Actions—not words—will show whether or not that's @realDonaldTrump's intent— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) May 27, 2019
The Iranian Foreign Minister’s response followed comments made by the US President during his official visit to Japan on Monday.
During his trip, Trump had stated a nuclear deal with Iran was a possibility, as he lauded the economic sanctions for putting an end to an alleged series of minor-scale attacks in the Middle East.
“We aren't looking for regime change — I just want to make that clear. We are looking for no nuclear weapons,” Donald Trump had told reporters at a joint news conference in Tokyo with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
“I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that's very smart of them, and I think that's a possibility to happen,” he said. “It has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership.”
Trump, on a four-day visit to Japan, welcomed Shinzo Abe's help in dealing with Iran after broadcaster NHK said the Japanese prime minister was considering a trip to Tehran in mid-June.
“I know for a fact that the prime minister is very close with the leadership of Iran, and we'll see what happens,” said Trump.
Back in October, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had accused Washington of seeking “regime change” in Iran, and branded the Trump administration as the most hostile that the Islamic Republic had faced off against.
Tensions flared between the two countries after the Pentagon deployed an aircraft carrier and a fleet of B-52 bombers to the Middle East, as well as Patriot missiles and F-15 fighters, in a show of force against an alleged Iranian plan to attack US assets.
The US has since announced plans to deploy an additional 1,500 troops to the Middle East, claiming this was a needed response to a spate of alleged minor attacks, while Tehran has vehemently denied any involvement.