Tehran will not be the instigator of hostilities with the US in the region, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said. The countries traded military threats earlier this week.
Rouhani made his comments during a phone call with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, on Saturday. “The Islamic Republic of Iran closely monitors and tracks the activities and movements of the Americans, but will never initiate any conflict or tension in the region,” he said.
At the same time, Rouhani reiterated that Tehran considers the US sanctions against the country illegal under international law, and said that they are preventing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from lending Iran money amid the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.
We believe that all countries must stand together in the fight against the coronavirus and take a clear stand against the hostile actions of the United States.
On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump warned that he has issued an order to destroy Iranian patrol boats if they “harass” American ships. The commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Hossein Salami, responded by saying that the nation’s naval forces will attack US ships if they target any Iranian vessels, including non-military ones.
Several US and Iranian warships were involved in a standoff in the Persian Gulf last week, with both sides accusing each other of provocations.