US escalating tension unnecessarily, have always defended ourselves: Iran FM

Last Updated: Tue, May 14, 2019 04:53 hrs

[India], May 14 (ANI): The United States is escalating tensions unnecessarily, said Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, while adding that Iran does not seek escalation, it has always defended itself.

Diplomatic tensions have been high between the United States and Iran in recent times, especially after Washington announced that no fresh sanction waivers will be issued for Iranian oil imports to eight countries, including India.

The Foreign Minister made the comments while speaking to ANI on arriving in New Delhi on Tuesday for an official two-day visit.

"Unfortunately the United States has been escalating the situation unnecessarily. We do not seek escalation but we have always defended ourselves," Zarif told ANI.

He is scheduled to meet with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan here on Tuesday, in the wake of Iran's heightened diplomatic tensions with the USA.

Speaking on the Iran-India bilateral relationship, the Iranian minister said: " India is one of our most important partners - economic, political and regional. We have regular consultations with India on various issues and I'm here to have consultations with my counterpart on most recent developments in the region as well as our bilateral relations."

India and China are currently the largest importers of Iranian oil. Three of the eight countries who received the waivers -- including Greece, Italy, and Taiwan -- have already reduced their Iranian oil imports to zero. (ANI)