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Syria, Iran say US is waging 'economic terrorism'

This photo released on the official Facebook page of Syrian Presidency shows Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, speaking with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, right, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Zarif has blasted upon arrival in Syria the Trump administration decision to designate Tehran's Revolutionary Guards Corps a terrorist organization calling it a "stupid act." (Syrian Presidency Facebook page via AP)

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria and Iran say the United States is waging “economic terrorism” against countries that have different opinions and should pursue its aims through diplomacy instead.

Syrian state news agency SANA quoted President Bashar Assad as saying that the Trump administration’s decision to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization was an “irresponsible move.” Assad spoke at a meeting Tuesday with Iran’s visiting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who said the U.S. move was “stupid.”

Syria is in the grip of a severe fuel crisis aggravated by sanctions on the Assad government and Iran, its close ally.

Zarif resigned in February after being kept in the dark about a surprise visit by Assad to Tehran, but Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani rejected his resignation and he remained in his post.

The Associated Press