Hitting back at Trump, Zarif says ‘genocidal taunts won’t end Iran’
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Hitting back at Trump, Zarif says ‘genocidal taunts won’t end Iran’

Tehran FM says US president goaded into threatening Islamic Republic by Israel, Saudi Arabia and UAE, urges Trump to ‘try respect’ next time

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) answers questions after meeting with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono at the foreign ministry in Tokyo on May 16, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (C) answers questions after meeting with his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono at the foreign ministry in Tokyo on May 16, 2019. (Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP)

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday the “genocidal taunts” of US President Donald Trump will not “end Iran” amid a spike in tensions between the two countries.

“Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. Economic terrorism and genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran,'” Zarif wrote on Twitter.

“Never threaten an Iranian. Try respect — it works!” he said.

Zarif’s comments came in response to an ominous warning by Trump, who on Sunday suggested the Islamic Republic would be destroyed if it attacked US interests.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,” Trump tweeted.

Zarif said Trump had been “goaded” into the making the threats by what he calls “the B team” — US National Security Adviser John Bolton, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

Iran’s top diplomat added that Trump “hopes to achieve what Alexander [the Great], Genghis [Khan] & other aggressors failed to do,” referring to historical figures who invaded Persia.

Relations between Washington and Tehran plummeted a year ago when Trump pulled out of a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and imposed tough sanctions.

US President Donald Trump gestures as he delivers remarks on immigration at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on May 16, 2019. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Tensions have ratcheted up further this month with Washington announcing further economic measures against Tehran, before deploying a carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf over unspecified Iranian “threats.”

The claim has been met with widespread skepticism outside the United States.

The Trump administration last week ordered nonessential diplomatic staff out of Iraq, citing threats from Iranian-backed Iraqi armed groups.

On Sunday a rocket was fired into the Green Zone of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, which houses government offices and embassies including the US mission. It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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