The comment comes as Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has arrived in Norway for an official visit amid the escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf region.

Iran will not start a military conflict in the Gulf but it will defend itself, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said at the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs in Oslo.

“Will there be a war in the … Gulf? I can tell you that we will not start the war… but we will defend ourselves”, Zarif said.

Zarif is currently touring the Scandinavian nations in a bid to pursue a dialogue on regional issues. The foreign minister has already visited Finland and Sweden.

The ties between Washington and Tehran have been tense since the US unilaterally pulled out from the Iranian nuclear deal and moved to reinstate sanctions targeting the Islamic republic.

The tensions continued to spiral when several tankers were attacked in the Persian Gulf, which prompted Washington to boost its military contingent in the region.

Last month the US suggested establishing an international maritime coalition to patrol the Gulf and ‘ensure freedom of navigation’ in the region. As of today, only the UK and Australia have joined the US-led mission.

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