Zarif Vows Iran Won't Escalate Tensions

Zarif vows Iran won't escalate tensions

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says Iran won't be responsible for escalating tensions in the Persian Gulf.

Zarif spoke to reporters in Tokyo on Thursday after meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono.

He said the meeting was a good opportunity to discuss the tense situation.

He said Iran would not be the party that begins to escalate tensions, but would defend itself and respond to any threats against its national security.

Zarif said he discussed with Kono how to prevent a further escalation of tensions, and how the international community could step in to save the 2015 nuclear deal signed with major world powers.

He called Japan an important economic partner and asked Tokyo to play a positive role. He said he hoped Japanese companies would maintain their business ties with Iran.