Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif on Wednesday warned the U.S. there would be consequences if Washington tried to stop Tehran from selling oil, or navigating international waterways.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JAVAD ZARIF, SAYING: "We believe that Iran will continue to sell its oil.
We will continue to find buyers for our oil.
And we will continue to use the Strait of Hormuz as a safe transit passage for the sale of our oil.
[FLASH] But if the United States takes the crazy measure of trying to prevent us from doing that, then it should be prepared for the consequences." Zarif declined to specify what the consequences might be.
Iran's comments come after the Trump administration on Monday demanded a halt to all purchases of Iranian oil by May, warning that countries continuing to do so could face sanctions.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING (MONDAY): "The risks are simply not going to be worth the benefits." The Trump administration has sought to ramp up pressure on Iran.
Last year, It pulled out of a multinational nuclear deal and re-imposed harsh sanctions on its economy.
And last month it added Tehran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to a list of terrorist organizations.
On a visit to New York Wednesday, Zarif suggested that the U.S. and Israel sought regime change in Iran.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER JAVAD ZARIF, SAYING: "Don't put pressure on Iran.
Try the language of respect." Washington's threat to sanction imports of Iranian crude pushed oil prices this week to their highest level since November.