Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Gholamali Rashid has stated that the US and other countries will avoid attacking Iran, as they understand that the response would be adequate, Fars News Agency reported.
"If the criminal America and its Western and regional allies don't dare carry out a face-to-face military attack against our country it is because of the spirit of resistance and sacrifice of the people and youth", he said.
His statement comes amid a growing US military presence in the Middle East, which Washington justifies as being necessary to deter the Iranian "threat". The US has sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf and reportedly deployed a B-52 bomber regiment and additional Patriot air defence systems to the Middle East, as well as increased the number of its military personnel there.
The moves have been slammed by Iran, but the country's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stated that the Islamic Republic does not seek war with the US, but would instead resist American pressure until it is "forced into a retreat".
At the same time, acting US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan claimed on 21 May that Washington's actions in the Middle East have put the Iranian "threat on hold" and forced Iran to "recalculate", without going into details. He reiterated earlier statements by US officials that Washington doesn't want to start a war with Iran.
These statements, however, were not met with understanding in Tehran, which indicated that the US actions, such as its military deployments and the pressure from sanctions, contradict Washington's calls for peace and the initiation of bilateral talks.