26, June 2019
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran is not after war with Washington, but will give the United States a “decisive” response if it once again violates Iran’s territorial space.
Rouhani made the remarks in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, on Tuesday, stressing that Iran did not want war with the United States but would confront any aggression.
“If the Americans want to violate the waters or airspace of Iran again, Iran’s armed forces have a duty to confront them and they will give a decisive response,” Rouhani said.
The Iranian president also emphasized that Tehran has been always committed to providing the region with security and stability.
Macron, for his part, said that tensions in the region will not be useful for any country and called for avoiding a “dangerous escalation” in the region.
Tensions have been running high between the two countries since Washington’s decision in May last year to abandon the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Tehran as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign aimed at forcing it to renegotiate a new deal that addresses its ballistic missile program and regional influence as well.
The US has also sent warships, bombers and additional troops to the region in the wake of suspicious tanker attacks in the Sea of Oman, which it has blamed on Iran without providing evidence.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran hit a new high after Iran shot down a US surveillance drone on Thursday following its violation of Iranian airspace. However Washington insists that the aircraft was flying above international waters.
Iran not to ‘renegotiate’ nuclear deal
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani pointed to Trump’s abrupt decision last year to withdraw the US from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and said Tehran will not “renegotiate” the landmark accord.
“Under no circumstances are we going to renegotiate a deal that was struck after two years of marathon negotiations,” Iran’s president said. “In violation of international principles, the Americans proved through the imposition and intensification of sanctions against the Iranian nation that they are no way after the settlement of disputes.”
During the phone call, Macron denounced as “remorseful” the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the imposition of sanctions against Tehran, saying France has made every effort to maintain the landmark accord and convince the parties involved in the nuclear talks, the US in particular.
Last year, US President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled his country out of a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and unleashed the “toughest ever” sanctions against Tehran, notably targeting its energy sector.
Since its withdrawal from the JCPOA, Washington has been trying to coerce other countries into joining its anti-Iran pressure campaign.
In April, the White House terminated sanctions waivers for major buyers of crude from the Islamic Republic in an attempt to bring Iran’s oil exports to “zero.”
Bowing to Washington’s pressure, Europe has been throwing only verbal support behind the agreement, refusing to guarantee the Islamic Republic’s business interests in the face of American bans despite being contractually obliged to do so.