- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 31, 2020

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday claimed President Trump attempted to “fabricate pretext for war.”

His comments come just one day after the U.S. Air Force flew bombers over the Persian Gulf for the third time in the past 45 days, delivering a clear warning to Iran and showing America’s ability to unleash “overwhelming combat power” against its enemies.

“[President Trump] & cohorts waste billions to fly B52s & send armadas to OUR region. Intelligence from Iraq indicate plot to FABRICATE pretext for war,” Mr. Zarif said in a tweet.

The deployment of the B-52H “Stratofortress” aircrews followed concern inside the Pentagon that Iran or its proxy militias could soon launch attacks against American forces in Iraq or elsewhere in the Middle East.

Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of a U.S airstrike that killed top Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and there are indications that Tehran may seek to avenge his death.

Mr. Zarif vowed that Iran will defend itself amid ongoing tension and said that it is not interested in war.

“Iran doesn’t seek war but will OPENLY & DIRECTLY defend its people, security & vital interests,” he wrote.

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