Iran threatens to strike America "and its ally"[/size]
3 hours ago
The war of words between the United States and Iran has escalated since Trump announced in May Washington's withdrawal from the nuclear deal signed between Tehran and six world powers, calling it flawed. The US president again imposed sanctions on Tehran to stifle its economy and force it to renegotiate or change its policies.
The US change, which has shaken a cautious breakthrough between the two countries after decades of hostility, has met Tehran despite renewed turmoil over economic difficulties and worries of other major powers that are still considering the idea of pulling out of Tehran.
The US national security adviser John Bolton told Reuters that the re-imposition of US sanctions has a strong impact on Iran's economy and public opinion there.
"There must be no doubt that the United States wants to resolve the issue peacefully, but we are fully prepared for any possibility on the part of Iran," he said during a visit to Israel.
Washington has imposed new sanctions targeting Iran's auto industry, gold and precious metals trading and Tehran's purchases of the US dollar. Trump said the United States would impose another package of sanctions, which would be stronger, in November and target Iranian oil sales and the banking sector.
European powers are seeking to ensure that Iran has enough economic benefits to persuade it to stay in the agreement. The difficulty has been proved by the concern of many European companies of large-scale US sanctions. French oil group Total has withdrawn from a major gas project in Iran.
"We expect Europeans, as companies across Europe know, to realize that the choice is very clear between dealing with Iran and dealing with the United States," Bolton said.
At a news conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday, Bolton was asked whether the United States had discussed any plans with Israel on how to take advantage of economic protests in Iran and whether the demonstrations posed any threat to the Tehran government.
"Let's be clear, regime change in Iran is not an American policy. But what we want is a radical change in the behavior of the regime. "
Iranian cleric large is seen as close to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei , told worshipers during Eid prayers in Tehran , " the price of war with Iran is too high for America he said. Realize that if they inflict the least damage to this country ... will be targeting the United States and its main ally in the region .. the Zionist regime. "
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has said it could hit Israeli cities with rockets if threatened. Iran also has agents in the region, including the Lebanese Hezbollah group.
The Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday it would continue to increase the country's defense capabilities and would not yield to pressure on its ballistic missile program.
Last week, Khamenei, who has a final say on Iranian politics, said the United States would avoid direct conflict over Iran's military might.
"There will be no war ... We have never fought a war and they will not face Iran militarily," he said.
Trump's campaign to isolate Iran and cripple its economy has put the two old adversaries on a collision course that European signatories fear is likely to increase the risk of a wider war in the Middle East.
Under a nuclear deal signed in 2015, Iran has restricted its uranium enrichment program under UN supervision in return for lifting international sanctions.
Trump denounced the agreement as too lenient with Iran and would not discourage it from developing a bomb, although UN nuclear inspectors have repeatedly said Iran is committed to the terms of the deal.
The cleric, Ahmed Khatami, said Donald Trump's offer of direct talks with Iran's leaders was unacceptable as long as the US president wanted Tehran to abandon its missile program and regional influence.
"The Americans say: You have to accept what we say in the talks," Khatami was quoted by Mezan news agency as saying. This is not a negotiation but a dictatorship. "
Trump said Iran should stop interfering in the wars of Syria and Yemen as part of a foreign policy to support its allies in the region.
Iran has not succumbed to Trump's pressure, although the economy is suffering from high unemployment and inflation, and the riyal has lost half of its value since April.
Thousands of Iranians have demonstrated in recent weeks to protest the sharp rise in food prices, job shortages and government corruption. Protests over the cost of living have often turned into anti-government demonstrations.
"Iran's activity in the region is still aggressive: what they are doing in Iraq, in Syria, with Hezbollah in Lebanon and in Yemen, and what they have threatened to do in the Strait of Hormuz," Bolton said.
The strait is a strategic waterway for oil shipments, which Iran's Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block in response to calls by the US administration to ban all Iranian oil exports.