- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 28, 2019

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Sunday that key members of the Trump administration — including national security adviser John Bolton — as well as Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad bin Salman, are “dragging the United States into a conflict” with Iran.

In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Mr. Zarif said “they have all shown an interest in” igniting such a competition.

He explained that while he does not believe President Trump wants to ignite a conflict with Iran, his “intention to put pressure, the policy of maximum pressure on Iran in order to bring Iran to its knees so that we would succumb to pressure, is doomed to failure.”

Earlier this week, the administration said it would not extend waivers for countries buying Iranian oil in the face of new U.S. sanctions, in a bid to cut off all foreign sales of the Islamic Republic’s key export.

Appearing on the program just after Mr. Zarif, Mr. Bolton said the foreign minister’s claims were “completely ridiculous.”

“It’s an effort to try to sow discord in the American body of politics,” he added.

Mr. Bolton said that while he thinks the U.S. pressure campaign on Iran to prevent the development of nuclear warheads will be effective, “we’ll just have to wait and see” whether Iran is capable of change.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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