The Iranian government issued a stern warning to President Donald Trump that his aggressive posturing and hawkish policies could lead to military conflict.
In a statement made to Iranian representatives, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Trump:
“Don’t play with fire, or you will regret,” the Islamic Republic News Agency reported on Sunday. “We are noble people and we have guaranteed in the history security of the Strait in the region.”
Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran Nuclear Agreement in May and has since threatened the Rouhani government if they choose to restart their nuclear weapons program. Conversely, Trump has also expressed support for the Iranian people. Rouhani said the president can’t have it both ways.
“You are declaring war against Iran and at the same time claim support for them?” Rouhani asked. He added that Iran has so far been a peaceful nation and that further aggression by the United States would lead to the “mother of all wars.”
Rouhani blasted Trump’s decision to pull out of the deal, with which Rouhani described as “the unified decision of all pillars of the establishment in Iran.”
International inspectors have concluded Iran was complying with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which was agreed upon in 2015 by seven countries in an international effort led by the United States and European allies.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has promised the “strongest sanctions in history” against Iran in the wake of Trump’s unnecessary shredding of the agreement.
Rouhani said the United States has been “encouraging Iran to violate the JCPOA.”
“Despite provoking the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take actions against Iran, they failed to do so and then the US embarked on an another approach, namely to persuade the EU to review the Iran Deal,” Rouhani boasted, adding that “Trump endeavored to do so but at the end he had to take a unilateral action and pull out the US from the nuclear deal.”
Rouhani also firmly declared his country’s readiness to engage the United States militarily.
“We are against any threats and the power we possess is deterrent,’ Rouhani said. “When under threats we are more united and are going to defeat US.”
I would advise Iran not to start their nuclear program. I would advise them very strongly. If they do there will be very severe consequence.
Reuters reported on Sunday that high-ranking Iranian government officials are concerned that Trump may be contemplating an invasion of their country – a move which National Security Advisor John Bolton has advocated in the past.
“The enemy’s behavior is unpredictable,” Iran’s military chief of staff General Mohammad Baqeri said. He added that “according to precise information,” Trump is “trying to persuade the U.S. military to launch an invasion [of Iran].”
Additionally, new sanctions are taking a toll on Iran’s economy, as is Trump’s encouraging of oil importing countries to boycott Iranian oil.
Rouhani, responding to Trump’s attempt to disrupt Iran’s oil export industry, emphasized his country’s influence over the Strait of Hormuz and its strategically important shipping lanes.
Anyone who understands the rudiments of politics doesn’t say ‘we will stop Iran’s oil exports’…we have been the guarantor of the regional waterway’s security throughout history.
Iran’s economy could take a huge hit due to increased sanctions.
“Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of new U.S. sanctions, putting oil markets under huge strain amid supply outages elsewhere,” Reuters noted.