Iran's Zarif rejects Trump idea of short war as 'illusion'

Tehran (AFP) –


Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday warned that US President Donald Trump was mistaken in thinking a war between their countries would not last long.

"'Short war' with Iran is an illusion," Zarif tweeted a day after Trump said he does not want a war with Iran but warned that if fighting did break out, it "wouldn't last very long".

The foreign minister also tweeted: "Whoever begins war will not be the one ending it."

On Wednesday, Trump hinted that any conflict would be waged with air strikes, saying there would be no US boots on the ground.

In an interview on Fox Business Network, Trump was asked if America was going to go to war with Iran.

"Well, I hope we don't but we're in a very strong position if something should happen. We're in a very strong position," Trump said.

"It wouldn't last very long, I can tell you that. And I'm not talking boots on the ground."

His remarks came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tried to rein in the crisis between the archfoes, saying that Tehran "never seeks war" with Washington.

The United States has ratcheted up economic sanctions on Iran after Tehran shot down an unmanned US drone in the Gulf region on June 20, following a series of attacks on tankers that Washington blamed on the Islamic republic.