Görkem ŞEKEROĞLU -TDO- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday (31 December) directed accusations at U.S. President Trump of seeking to fabricate a pretext to attack Iran and said Tehran would defend itself forcefully.
A military adviser to Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned Trump not to turn the New Year into mourning for Americans.
Zarif said in his tweet: "Instead of fighting Covid in US, @realDonaldTrump & cohorts waste billions to fly B52s & send armadas to our region. Intelligence from Iraq indicate plot to fabricate pretext for war. Iran doesn’t seek war but will openly and directly defend its people, security and vital interests”.
The U.S. sent two nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to the Middle East in a show of deterrence to Iran on Wednesday, but the bombers have since left the region.
Washington puts the blame on Iran-backed militia for regular rocket attacks on U.S. facilities in Iraq, including some in the vicinity of the embassy. No Iran-backed groups have claimed responsibility.