In a recent interview with NBC News, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif detailed the circumstances of Iran’s conflict with the US.

“It’s unfortunate that the United States, based on misinformation, based on ignorance and arrogance, combined on a course that has brought the region very close to the brink… We were very close to a war”, Zarid said.

Trump justified the assassination of Soleimani by claiming that the latter posed a threat to American assets abroad. Iran quickly responded to the extrajudicial killing of its top general by firing ballistic missiles at two military installations in Iraq that house US troops.

Despite that no American personnel were reported to have been injured, the US Department of Defence subsequently began claiming that an estimated 100 soldiers suffered what was loosely characterized as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) in the attack.

Zarif noted that the firing of the missiles at US bases in Iraq were intended to send a “clear message”.

“We wanted to show to the United States that they could not bully Iran. Actions against Iran will have repercussions, but the intention was not to kill anybody…The intention was to send a message, a very clear message to the United States, that if they kill Iranians, we will hit back.”