In an exclusive interview with CNN, Zarif warned that the United States "played a very, very dangerous game" by increasing its military presence in the region.
Zarif criticized the US for sending the USS Abraham Lincoln salvage team and a bombing population to the Gulf. Having all these military assets in a small area is in itself susceptible to accidents, Zarif said. "Extreme caution is required and the United States plays a very, very dangerous game".
He accused Washington of going out first on the Joint Overall Action Plan or the JCPOA, the 2015 Agreement, aimed at limiting Iran's nuclear capability in returning for the lifting of sanctions. "We acted in good faith," said Zarif about the deal, signed by the United States, Iran, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia. "We are not willing to talk to people who have broken their promises."
Earlier this month, Trump said that Iran would "call me". But on Sunday, the president ruled his rhetoric. "If Iran wants to fight, it will be Iran's official end," Trump said in a tweet. "Never again threaten the United States!"
Iran would not bow to the threats, Zarif said. "Iran never negotiates with force. You can't threaten any Iranian and expect to engage. The way to do it is by respect, not by threat."
Zarif said that "there will be painful consequences if there is an escalation". But also added that Iran was "not interested in escalation." Instead, he asked for an immediate end to the "economic warfare" that the United States brought in Iran and said that sanctions were "depriving the citizens of their means of livelihood".
Iran announced that it would be partially withdrawn from the agreement on the one-year anniversary of the US departure from the agreement. It gave the remaining signatories of the agreement to July 7 to facilitate restrictions on Iran's unfortunate banking and oil sectors, or face unspecified retaliation.
The European signatories are in a delicate position – either side of the Trump administration and departing from the agreement or preserving the pact by digging into Iranian talks to facilitate restrictions, despite the threat of US sanctions.
Britain's Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt – whose government has repeatedly supported the deal – warned Iran of "consequences" if it did not comply with the agreement.
Four Square Uranium Production
By increasing production, Iran can soon exceed the threshold of 300 kilograms agreed under the 2015 nuclear power agreement – but without knowing the details of the country's current stock, it is difficult to predict when the threshold will be broken.
According to the agreement, Iran can only enrich uranium of 3.67% – suitable for a power plant and far below 90% required for weapon quality.
The move places additional pressure on what remains of the nuclear power agreement. Iran earlier this month announced that it was partially withdrawn from the agreement, following the US decision to leave.