Tensions between Washington and Tehran continue to increase rapidly as the US threatens to bring Iranian oil exports down “to zero”. Also, Iranian officials’ have warned that the country may close the strategic Strait of Hormuz if its security is threatened.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif however does not believe that a war between Iran and the US is imminent or inevitable, but does not exclude the possibility of some “accident” ‘spiraling’ into a military conflict.
Zarif gave the example of a recent move by US President Donald Trump to put Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on its blacklist of foreign “terrorist” organizations, as an example to the ‘accidents that may spiral into a military conflict’ during an interview with the British online newspaper Independent at Iran’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.
However, in an immediate announcement signalling it would reciprocate the unprecedented move, Tehran had accused Washington of posing a “a major threat to regional and international stability and peace”.
Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) slammed the US government as “supporter of terrorism,” designating American forces in West Asia, known as the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), as a “terrorist organization.”
Long-standing tensions between Iran and the United States took a turn for the worse in May 2018, when Washington unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and began slapping Iran with several rounds of sanctions, including energy restrictions aimed at bringing Iran’s oil exports down “to zero”, as well as banking restrictions and other measures meant to cripple the country’s economy.