Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in October last year. Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks at a press conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in October last year. Credit: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called US President Donald Trump’s decision to order the drone strike that killed the country’s top military commander an act of “state terrorism” in an interview with CNN Tuesday.

Zarif also said the Trump administration’s decision to abandon the nuclear deal Tehran negotiated with world powers and embrace hardline policies against Iran “destroyed stability” in the Middle East, and he warned of worse to come if the US did not reverse course.

“This is an act of aggression against Iran and amounts to an armed attack against Iran, and we will respond. But we will respond proportionally not disproportionally,” he said. “We will respond lawfully, we are not lawless people like President Trump.”

Zarif was referring to a tweet Trump sent Saturday in which the President said that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, the United States has 52 Iranian sites targeted — a reference to the number of Americans taken hostage in the 1979 revolution — “some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture,” he wrote.

Iran’s top diplomat said those comments showed Trump “has no respect for international law and is prepared to commit war crimes — attacking cultural sites is a war crime.”

The interview came as Iran’s parliament voted unanimously for a motion declaring all US forces as “terrorists” on Tuesday, according to Iran’s state-news agency IRNA. The vote took place during the country’s parliamentary session Tuesday, IRNA reported. After the plan was approved, delegates chanted, “Death to America.”

Tensions between Iran and the US have escalated since Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s powerful Quds Force, was killed on Friday.