January 8, 2020
Unlike President Donald Trump—who already has warned the U.S. Congress in a tweet that his next move against Iran may be “disproportionate”—Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an onscreen interview with CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic will respond “proportionately.”
However, with millions of Iranians in the streets of that nation during a period of mourning and intense anger at the United States, what the republic will consider to be “proportionate” is anybody’s guess.
“This is state terrorism,” Zarif said of the killing of Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force, in a U.S. drone attack in Baghdad last week.
Zarif added that Trump had displayed a lack of respect for international law by threatening Iran’s cultural sites. “This is an act of aggression against Iran, and it amounts to an armed attack against Iran, and we will respond,” he told CNN—noting that his nation would “respond proportionately – not disproportionately … We are not lawless like President Trump.”
Asked if it was worth speaking to Trump, Zarif said: “It doesn’t need speaking. He has to realize that he has been fed misinformation. And he needs to wake up, and apologize. He has to apologize, he has to change course.”
Research contact: @CNN