Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has scolded his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo, for his sharp attack on a US magazine that published his threat to starve the Iranian people through sanctions, saying Pompeo must assume responsibility for what he says.
In a post on his official Twitter account on Monday, Zarif said Pompeo "should either own what he says, or disown what US does. Can't have it both ways."
He slammed Pompeo's audacity to threaten crimes against humanity targeting ordinary Iranian people and said his American counterpart "then attacks media for reporting his own words."
Zarif was responding to an earlier claim made by Pompeo on his Twitter account in which he accused "fake Newsweek" of helping spread lies.
In an interview with BBC Persian, the US secretary of state said that Iranian officials must listen to Washington "if they want their people to eat."
Pompeo’s attack on the Newsweek came after Zarif said the US secretary of state's open threat to starve the Iranian nation was "a crime against humanity" and "a desperate attempt to impose US whims on Iran."
"Like his predecessors, he'll also learn that—in spite of US efforts—Iran will not just survive but advance w/out sacrificing its sovereignty," Zarif said in a Twitter post.
The administration of US President Donald Trump announced on November 5 the re-imposition of the “toughest” sanctions ever against Iran's banking and energy sectors with the aim of cutting off its oil sales and crucial exports. The bans had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
A first round of American sanctions took effect in August, targeting Iran's access to the US dollar, metals trading, coal, industrial software, and auto sector.