Sunday on CBS’s on “Face the Nation,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said if the United States or Saudi Arabia started a war with Iran, they “will not be the one who finishes it.”
Partial transcript as follows:
BRENNAN: U.S. officials told CBS News though that the supreme leader himself approved these attacks on Saudi Arabia but that they needed to be deniable.
ZARIF: Well this is just a hypocritical, hypothetical, allegation. I mean no, no reality whatsoever.
BRENNAN: The supreme leader didn’t approve these attacks?
ZARIF: These attacks did not take place from Iran for the supreme leader to approve them. Had they taken place from Iran then he would have had to approve them. But it didn’t take place from Iran.
BRENNAN: Do you think U.S. officials are lying when they say that? That Saudi Arabia is lying?
ZARIF: I’m certainly- I’m certain that they’re being lied to, whether they want to accept that lie. I think the work of us diplomats- I think myself and my counterpart, the U.S. secretary of state, we need to try to push diplomacy, as Senator Sanders has recently said, not to push war.
BRENNAN: Are you confident that you can avoid a war?
ZARIF: No. No, I’m not confident that we can avoid a war. We- I’m confident that we will not start one but I’m confident that whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it.
BRENNAN: What does that mean?
ZARIF: That means that there won’t be a limited war.
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