Iran “never seeks war” with the United States, President Hassan Rouhani said as he sought to rein in soaring tensions between the two archfoes.On Tuesday, Tehran’s top security official, Ali Shamkhani, said Iran would “forcefully” reduce further commitments from July 7.
“Iran has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with any country, including (the) US,” the president said, quoted by state news agency IRNA yesterday.
Rouhani was speaking by phone to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, as Tehran and Washington engaged in an escalating war of words following Iran’s shooting down of a US drone last week.
“We have always been committed to regional peace and stability and will make efforts in this respect,” the Iranian president told Macron.
US President Donald Trump said yesterday he hopes the US does not go to war with Iran but if it did, America’s use of force would be overwhelming.
In an interview on Fox Business News, Trump was asked if America is going to go to war with Iran.
“Well, I hope we don’t but we’re in a very strong position if something should happen. We’re in a very strong position. It wouldn’t last very long, I can tell you that. And I’m not talking boots on the ground,” Trump said amid acute tensions between the two countries.
Trump earlier said he pulled back from retaliatory strikes on Iran at the last minute, rejecting Tehran’s claim that the aircraft was in its airspace.
But pressure mounted this week with Trump announcing sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top officials.
General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, mocked the latest sanctions as an “irrational” reaction to the loss of the sophisticated drone.
The new measures are the latest against Tehran since Trump pulled out of a landmark nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.
Khamenei said yesterday that the Islamic republic remains unbowed by pressure exerted by the United States and its “insults”.
“The Iranian nation seeks dignity, independence and progress; that’s why pressures by cruel enemies do not affect Iranians,” Khamenei said in a speech to a crowd in Tehran.
“The graceful Iranian nation has been accused and insulted by the world’s most vicious regime, the US,” he said, quoted by his office.
“The Iranian nation won’t give up over such insults,” said Khamenei.