Iran's foreign minister said the US is engaged in economic warfare against his country, by targeting its civilians, at a news conference in Helsinki on Monday. Mohammed Javad Zarif met with his Finnish counterpart Pekka Haavisto on the first leg of his trip to Scandinavia.

"Economic warfare is worse than military warfare because in economic warfare the targets are civilians. In a military war the targets are soldiers," said Zarif.

He also commented on the release of an Iranian oil tanker by authorities in Gibraltar saying the vessel did not violate any laws. "We are happy that this ordeal has ended. And I hope that this will lead to less escalation. Certainly, the United States continues to try to make more escalation by passing a rather purely political court decision on this ship which is a travesty of justice and law," said the minister.

Zarif held talks with the Finnish delegation, with Finland currently chairing the EU Council. He is also set to visit Sweden and Norway to discuss how to ease tensions in the Persian Gulf.

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