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Iran tensions

Iranian foreign minister slams US for 'ignorance and arrogance'

Zarif says war against Islamic State hampered by Soleimani killing

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif slams Trump on Jan. 15 at the Raisina Dialogue in New Delhi, which gathers foreign policy makers and strategic analysts from countries. (Nikkei Montage/ Source photos by Reuters and AP) 

NEW DELHI -- Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday lashed out at the U.S. saying that its "ignorance and arrogance" has fueled mayhem, as tensions build in the Middle East following the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani.

He said the U.S. is unable to assess situations from perspectives other than its own. "When they assassinated a revered general in Iraq violating Iraqi sovereignty, they thought... that people will be dancing in the streets of Tehran and Baghdad," Zarif said at the annual Raisina Dialogue held in Delhi and hosted by the Observer Research Foundation in collaboration with India's Ministry of External Affairs.

"That showed two things which are very dangerous, and when combined it becomes even more dangerous: ignorance and arrogance. And when you become an arrogant ignorant or an ignorant arrogant it becomes a disaster, particularly if you have a lot of power. That has been fueling mayhem in the region."

He pointed to demonstrations and gatherings in 430 Indian cities to mourn Soleimani.

"Now we have this disaster of the shooting of a civilian airline, accidental shooting but shooting nevertheless [and] 180 families are mourning the loss of very, very bright young people... Why did it happen? Because there was a crisis. People make mistakes, unforgivable mistakes, but it happened in the time of the crisis. We need to make sure that these crises will be prevented," Zarif said.

He also said Iran's arms expenditure is the lowest in the region, "where we need hope and get rid of despair."

"The war against [Islamic State] just suffered a major setback, and [Islamic State] just won a major victory," Zarif said. "We need to recreate the coalition against [Islamic State] because the current coalition against [it] used the bases of the coalition to kill the most effective [anti-Islamic State] general."

"The two people celebrating the death of General Soleimani are ISIS and President [Donald] Trump," Zarif said.

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