TEHRAN, July 18 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran will not be a war starter but will defend its territory against any aggression, Press TV reported Thursday.
"We've never started a war, but we will defend ourselves," Zarif said on Wednesday during his tour to New York for a UN conference.
"Anybody who starts a war with Iran will not be the one who ends it," he said, referring to the escalating tensions between Iran and the United States amid U.S. military buildup in the region.
He also criticized the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump for "waging an economic war" against the Iranian people.
"There is a war going on right now. It's an economic war against Iran ... that targets civilian population," he said.
Iran and the United States have been at loggerheads after Washington withdrew from the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal in May 2018 and later imposed unprecedented economic sanctions on the Islamic republic.