Iran FM sends warning over US sanctions, 'economic war'

Tehran (AFP) –


Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif warned Monday that those waging "economic war" against Tehran through US sanctions could not expect to "remain safe".

"One cannot expect an economic war to continue against the Iranian people and that those waging this war and those supporting it remain safe," he said at a Tehran news conference with his visiting German counterpart Heiko Maas.

"The only way to decrease tensions in the region is to stop the economic war," he said, adding that Germany and the EU had an "important role" in such efforts.

US President Donald Trump has imposed sweeping sanctions on Iran after walking away from a 2015 nuclear between Tehran and world powers that eased sanctions in exchange for curbs on its atomic programme.

The German minister said his country would do its utmost to ensure tensions do not escalate.

"There is war in Syria and in Yemen, fortunately not here," Maas said. "We want to do everything we can to keep it that way" for Iran.

"Tensions here in the region are worrying, and we fear that isolated events could trigger developments that end in violence, and we want to prevent this at all costs."