Iranian FM: Netanyahu, Bolton, Drag Trump into War with Tehran

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Fannon said the USA government was working closely with South Korea to ensure supply for its petrochemical facilities.

The State Department in a statement did not outright denounce Zarif's remarks, and said it advocated for a humanitarian resolution to the case of USA citizens detained in Iran.

The agreement, signed in 2015 between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the USA - plus Germany, placed strict limits on Iran's nuclear programme in order to prevent the country from building nuclear weapons, in return for lifting sanctions that had strangled its economy.

"Iran is not seeking confrontation, but will not escape defending itself", Zarif said, elaborating on the warning he gave earlier on Wednesday that the U.S. must "be prepared for the consequences" if it attempts to stop Iran from selling its oil.

"I mean there are always ways of going around the sanctions".

Lebanon, where Iran and the IRGC are active in their support of the Hezbollah movement, and Iraq, where they back Shia militias and have close ties to the government, are two such countries where the United States is heavily engaged on the military and diplomatic fronts.

"There's roughly a million barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian crude (exports) left, and there is plenty of supply in the market to ease that transition and maintain stable prices", said Brian Hook, U.S. Special Representative for Iran and Senior Policy Advisor to the Secretary of State, speaking in a call with reporters.

President Donald Trump's administration has been ramping up pressure on the clerical state, this week vowing to stop all oil exports from Iran by sanctioning any countries that defy its order. In part because of soaring domestic production, USA commercial crude oil inventories last week hit a October 2017 high of 460.63 million barrels, the energy information administration said on Wednesday.

Under sweeping sanctions the United States has imposed to squeeze the clerical regime, Fanamoj has been targeted for alleged links with the country's missile program.




He described the B Team as including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Trump's national security adviser John Bolton.

Zarif added a paranoid note to the interview when he warned that some people could "plot an accident" that would trigger a crisis leading to war.

US crude inventories were also an overhang, analysts said.

Zarif also said he was willing to swap British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has been detained in Iran since 2016, for an Iranian woman detained in Australia for the past three years on a US extradition request.

When asked who else Iran might consider selling oil to, Zarif said: "If I told you, we won't be able to sell it to them".

He spoke of one Iranian woman he claimed gave birth in an Australian prison before being seperated from the child.

"Let's have an exchange". The Trump administration is downplaying the consequences arguing that "the United States, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, three of the world's great energy producers, along with our friends and allies, are committed to ensuring that global oil markets remain adequately supplied". "I put this offering on the table publicly now - exchange them".

Zarif told Reuters he was proposing "a serious dialogue" with the United States on a possible prisoner swap.

In Lebanon, Iran and the guard are active in their support of the militant Hezbollah movement, and in Iraq they back Shiite militias and have close ties to the government. But it said Iran should immediately release the Americans wrongfully detained first, and said any Iranians detained in the United States have been indicted or convicted of violating USA laws.

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