Iran has hit back after the top U.S. diplomat repeated the U.S. position that it could still use military force against Iran if Tehran fails to keep its commitment to not develop nuclear weapons.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, in an appearance before the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, repeated an assertion by Defense Secretary Ash Carter last week that military force remains on the table to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, should it violate its landmark agreement with world powers.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called Kerry's statement "unfortunate," and decried what he called the "uselessness of such empty threats against the nation of Iran."
Such threats should be consigned "to the last century," Zarif said.
Kerry and other U.S. officials "have repeatedly admitted that these threats have no effect on the will of the people of Iran," he said.
"Therefore, it would be better for Americans to abandon their old habit, and put aside once and for all their threatening language and sanctions against this great people."