TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is on a trip to Pakistan, called on the neighboring countries and the international community to stand up against the US sanctions in a bid to serve their national interests and preserve global security.

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Speaking to reporters upon his arrival in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on Thursday night, Zarif pointed to US sanctions against independent nations around the world and said, “It is clear that these sanctions are in fact targeting the international order and if they are not countered, they will trouble the international community.”

“Today, we are witnessing that the US simultaneously imposes sanctions against Iran and China,” the top diplomat said.

If the international community allows this trend to continue, the world order will fall into the hands of some lawless people, he warned.

“For that reason, it is imperative that not only our neighbors but all countries counter the sanctions for global security and for their own interests,” Zarif went on to say.

Zarif, who has stepped up diplomatic contacts with Asian governments in recent weeks, is scheduled to hold meetings with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other top officials in Islamabad.

His remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US with Washington imposing new sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The US has ratcheted up pressure on Iran since last year after withdrawing from the 2015 nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Since then, the administration of US President Donald Trump is trying to reduce Iran’s oil exports to “zero,” and has sent an aircraft carrier strike group, a bomber squad, an amphibious assault ship, and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to try to stack up pressure on Tehran.

Iranian officials, however, have dismissed such moves as psychological warfare, saying the country has its own ways of circumventing the American bans and selling crude oil.