EghtesadOnline: The Foreign Ministry said Iran is not seeking to escalate tensions in the region, but would not hesitate for a moment about defending its national security and interests.
“National security is our redline,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a virtual press briefing on Monday, ISNA reported.
His comments came in reference to a recent rocket attack on the US Embassy in Iraq, which American officials have blamed on Iran and threatened to respond.
“In our view, attacking diplomatic and residential places is rejected … Remarks by the US president [Donald Trump] and secretary of state [Mike Pompeo] are also condemned and rejected,” he told reporters.
He said such statements and their timing are suspicious and mischievous.
“The responsibility of any provocative measure in the region falls on the US and those who implement such plots,” he added.
Katyusha rockets landed in Baghdad’s heavily-fortified Green Zone last week, causing minor damage to the US diplomatic compound.
Trump posed a photo on Twitter, claiming that the rockets came from Iran and that there was “chatter of additional attacks against Americans in Iraq”.
“Some friendly health advice to Iran: If one American is killed, I will hold Iran responsible. Think it over,” he said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif later said Trump is faking danger and putting the lives of American citizens at risk to divert attention from his own “catastrophic failures” at home.
“Last time, the US ruined our region over WMD [weapons of mass destruction] fabrications, wasting $7 TRILLION & causing 58,976 American casualties,” he tweeted in reference to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq.
“Trump will bear full responsibility for any adventurism on his way out,” Zarif tweeted.
Hub of Insecurity
In his final weeks in office, Trump is ramping up pressure on Iran, possibly to make it difficult for the US President-elect Joe Biden to return to the Iran nuclear deal.
“We sent a message to America and to neighboring Persian Gulf states, warning against any new adventurism in the final days of the current US administration,” Khatibzadeh said in the press briefing.
He hoped that wise people in Washington would control the situation and prevent any escalation in the region.
Trump had last year assassinated Iranian top general, Qasem Soleimani, and an Iraqi militia leader in Baghdad on baseless charges of planning attacks on US interests.
Khatibzadeh stressed that Tehran is committed to the principles of good neighborliness and has never involved a third country in its conflicts, but this has not happened on the part of the US.
“With its mischievous and defiant measures, the US has turned our neighboring countries into hubs of insecurity for Iran,” he said.
Iran has called on its neighbors to fulfill their sovereign duties against such US measures.
“As a responsible government and in compliance with international regulations, we don’t have the slightest hesitation in defending ourselves and our national interests,” he said.