Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the US of trying to produce excuses to attack them. Zarif said they were not seeking war, but would protect the Iranian people.
Cevad Zarif said on his Twitter account, “Instead of fighting the Corona virus outbreak in the US, President Trump and his followers spend billions of dollars to fly the B52s and send their navy to our region. The intelligence received from Iraq shows that they are preparing to make up an excuse for war. ”
Zarif, who also tagged Trump’s Twitter account in his message, said, “Iran is not in search of war; but it will protect its people, security and vital interests openly and directly ”.
This statement, which could further escalate the tension on the Washington-Tehran line, came as the anniversary of the US drone attack, in which Iran Quds Force Commander Kasim Soleimani was killed near Baghdad Airport on January 3, approached.
As the anniversary of Soleimani’s murder approached, a US nuclear submarine carrying 154 Tomahawk missiles crossed the Strait of Hormuz on December 21; this situation was considered as a show of strength towards Iran.
The US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz has been patrolling the Gulf since the end of November. Finally, two US-owned B-52 bombers flew in the area, which was described as a show of force against Iran.
President Trump warned Iran of a possible attack on US military or diplomatic personnel in Iraq, in a statement on December 24. Trump’s warning came after the rocket attack on the heavily guarded Green Zone in Baghdad on December 20 that caused minor damage to the US Embassy premises as well as international settlements.
“Our Embassy in Baghdad was the target of a rocket attack on Sunday. Three rockets did not reach their target. Guess where the rockets were: IRAN. It is said that there may be other attacks on Americans in Iraq. Friendly advice to Iran: If an American dies, I will hold Iran responsible. Think well ”.
After the attack, US national security officials came together to prepare a series of proposals to be presented to President Trump to deter a possible attack on American interests in Iraq.
US officials have long said that Iran or its backed Iraqi militias can retaliate.