The Islamic Revolution Leader’s representative at the Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, has blasted US officials’ claims about seeking a dialogue not a conflict with Iran, Press TV reports. The official, who used to be in charge of Iran's nuclear negotiations team, noted that the US should be aware that its sanctions are considered as an act of war in the Islamic Republic, who will respond to them.
"Someone in the US says we are after crippling sanctions, and officially announces his decision to impose 'maximum pressure' on Iran. Aren't they a war against the Iranian nation?" Jalili said, as cited by the broadcaster.
He insisted that Tehran’s goal is a constructive dialogue and warned that Iranians will not give in to the US demands.
"In defending their rights, interests, and values, the Iranian people do not adhere to the US demands. There is no limit to those demands, and the Iranian nation does not follow what the US wants”, the Iranian official said.
The tensions between Tehran and Washington escalated recently when the two countries’ top officials exchanged critical remarks and played the blame game, accusing each other of seeking a conflict. Donald Trump called Iran "hostile" and vowed to respond to its actions with "great force", noting, however, that Tehran currently shows no intentions of wanting to attack the US. Earlier, he launched a Twitter war of words, warning "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!"
However, after the sabre-rattling on social media, the US president also downplayed his threats against Iran, saying he does not want to go to war, but just does not “want them to have nuclear weapons”.
For its part, Tehran has stated that Washington's "genocidal taunts" and economic sanctions won't "end Iran". Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stated that his country doesn't seek war with the US, but will resist its pressure until Washington is "forced into a retreat". Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, furthermore, indicated that negotiations are hardly possible under the current circumstances, claiming that Washington has requested negotiations with Tehran at least eight times.
The showdown between Iran and the US intensified this spring when the Pentagon deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force near Iran in response to what Washington called a potential threat from Tehran. Iran slammed the moves and partially discontinued its commitments under the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
Tensions between the two countries have been running high between Tehran and Washington for a year since Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear agreement in May 2018. In less than a year Washington unveiled massive batches of sanctions against the Middle Eastern country, targeting Iran's financial, transport, and military sectors.