Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has advised his US counterpart not to play with fire by voicing frequent threats against the Iranian nation, amid an escalating war of words between Tehran and Washington.
Donald Trump’s threat that the US will cut off Iran’s oil exports shows that he is a political neophyte, Rouhani said, stressing that if the US president knew anything about politics, he would not have made such a threat.
He also noted that Iran has various options on the table to deal with US threats including the closure of the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
“Mr Trump! We are men of honour and have guaranteed the security of the region’s waterways [Hormuz Strait] throughout the history. Don’t play with fire, it will make you regretful,” he told a gathering of Iranian ambassadors in Tehran on Sunday.
The Trump administration has announced it intends to cut down to zero Iran’s oil revenues by early November, when a majority of anti-Iran US sanctions that were suspended under the 2015 nuclear pact will snap back.
Rouhani has vowed Iran will stop oil imports from the Persian Gulf by blocking the Strait of Hormuz if the US halts Iran’s oil exports.
War with Iran Mother of All Wars
The president said Iran’s enemies have hatched various plots against the country since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, from attempts to topple the system to disintegrate the country.
Rouhani said the latest plot was weakening Iran through international sanctions, which was foiled by the 2015 nuclear deal.
The president said the US has now decided to try exhausting the Iranian nation.
“Today, our internal unity is greater than before. Threats will boost our cohesion,” he said.
Rouhani said enemies will “loot” Iran if it caves into pressure by a “lying bully” like Trump.
“Today, talking with the US means nothing but surrender and ruining all achievements of the Iranian nation,” he said.
Rouhani said the incumbent US administration is standing against the world and acting against the US’ national interests.
“Americans must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” he said.
Iran to Improve Ties with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE
Referring to allegations by the US that Tehran is destabilizing the region, the president said Iran is a peace-loving nation that sees helping neighbours against killers as its sacred duty.
“We uprooted ISIS and saved the people of the region. We are proud of that,” Fars News Agency quoted him as saying.
“Our influence in the region is historic and civilizational. Our commitment to the [security of the] region results from our Islamic and Iranian identity,” he said.
Rouhani said moves by the US administration and the Israeli regime in recent months have exposed the true nature of the Zionist regime and proved Iran’s relentless opposition to the Zionist regime was a good policy.
“Today, it is more clear that the Zionist regime is bent on aggression and occupation … What we were telling our neighbours and Arab countries regarding the nature of Israel has proved correct,” he said.
The US and Israel have taken steps seen as preparations for implementing a so-called peace plan dubbed “the deal of the century”, which has been formulated by the Trump administration.
In May, the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds, effectively killing hopes to reach a so-called two-state solution for the Palestine conflict.
“So far, [they] were telling Israel is a model of democracy in the region. Today, it is proven that this is the centre of apartheid,” Rouhani said.
In spite of recent developments, the president said Tehran seeks closer relations with Saudi Arabia and its allies.
“We want best relations with our neighbours. Under the new circumstances, we seek to mend Iran’s relations with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain,” he said.