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January 21, 2020
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Iran accuses US of regional tension, hurting Iranian people

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons, accusing the United States of causing regional tension and hurting the Iranian people.

Zarif was responding to President Donald Trump’s comment that Washington was not looking for “regime change” in Iran but was only interested in preventing Tehran from getting nuclear weapons.

In a Twitter post on Monday,  Zarif sai that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had “long ago said Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons – by issuing a fatwa (edict) banning them.

Zarif’s comment came after Trump said on Monday during a trip to Japan that a deal with Iran on its nuclear programme was possible, crediting economic sanctions for curbing activities Washington has said are behind a spate of attacks in the Middle East.

Trump had that US was not looking for regime change –he just wanted to make that clear. “We are looking for no nuclear weapons,” Trump told reporters during a news conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

“I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that’s very smart of them, and I think that’s a possibility to happen,” he said.

“It has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership.”

In response, Zarif tweeted: “Actions – not words – will show whether or not that’s @realDonaldTrump’s intent,” Zarif added, referencing the US president’s Twitter handle.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in October the US was seeking “regime change” in Iran, adding that the Trump administration was the most hostile that the Islamic Republic had faced in its four decades.