Iranian official: 'I'm not confident that we can avoid a war'

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that he's "not confident that we can avoid a war" but stressed that Iran will not start one amid escalating tensions with the U.S. in recent days. 

"I'm not confident that we can avoid a war. I'm confident that we will not start one," Zarif said in an interview with CBS's "Face the Nation" set to air Sunday.

"I'm confident that whoever starts one will not be the one who finishes it," he added. 

Asked what he meant, Zarif said "That means that there won't be a limited war."

 Zarif's comments follow a decision Friday by President TrumpDonald TrumpHead of firms that pushed 'Italygate' theory falsely claimed VA mansion was her home: report Centrists gain foothold in infrastructure talks; cyber attacks at center of Biden-Putin meeting VA moving to cover gender affirmation surgery through department health care MORE to approve sending troops and missile defense equipment to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates after an attack on Saudi oil facilities. Zarif also slammed that decision as "posturing" and "going the wrong direction" in the interview.


Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the attack, but the U.S and Saudi Arabia have blamed it on Iran. Tehran has repeatedly denied involvement in the attack. 

Zarif has previously threatened an "all-out war"" if Iran is the subject of military strikes by the U.S. or Saudi Arabia. 

"I make a very serious statement about defending our country. I am making a very serious statement that we don't want to engage in a military confrontation," he said. "But we won't blink to defend our territory."

The U.S and Iran have maintained a strained relationship since President Trump pulled the U.S. out of a nuclear deal last year. Tensions have increased in recent days after the attack on the oil facilities.