04:33 GMT +316 December 2019
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    Hezbollah fighters hold flags as they attend the memorial of their slain leader Sheik Abbas al-Mousawi, who was killed by an Israeli airstrike in 1992

    Hezbollah Leader Says 'Axis of Resistance' Stops US From Going to War With Iran

    © AP Photo / Mohammed Zaatari
    Middle East
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    Despite continuing tensions between Tehran and Washington both countries have denounced the option of going to war with each other. Iran has repeatedly cautioned the US that if it decides to attack the country, the whole region might turn against it.

    Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has warned the US against attacking Iran noting that it will be a declaration of war to all members of the “axis of resistance”, which, according to him, includes Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen. He further stressed that such hostilities would be costly for Washington.

    "The Iranian people refuse that their officials negotiate under pressure because their dignity is above everything else. A war on Iran is a war on the entire axis of resistance, which means that the region will burn. The fire some are attempting to ignite in the region will burn their faces and entities, not only their fingers", he said.

    The head of the Lebanon-based group also said that whole “axis of resistance” standing up in defence of Iran, is the key factor stopping Washington from going to war with the Islamic Republic. He also praised the military might of Iran itself noting that it had been proven by the downing of an American spy drone in June 2019.

    US-Iran Tensions

    Relations between Iran and the US have been in a downward spiral since Washington re-imposed sanctions on the country last year, but took a turn for the worse in 2019. The US significantly boosted its military presence in the Middle East deploying additional troops, strategic B-52 bombers, drones and patriot missile systems. It was followed by an exchange of threats and warnings against aggressive actions by the two countries politicians, including US President Donald Trump and Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

    In June 2019 Iranian air defences downed an American stealth spy drone flying above the Strait of Hormuz. According to Tehran the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) along with a P-8 Poseidon reconnaissance plane violated the country's border and ignored several warnings. The plane was also in the defences' crosshairs, but was spared.

    RQ-4 Global Hawk
    © CC0
    RQ-4 Global Hawk

    Washington claims that its drone was flying above neutral waters and planned a retaliatory strike against Tehran, but the latter was stopped by President Trump minutes prior to launch. Instead the US introduced new sanctions against Iran, including against its Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

    Trump claims that the US wants to conduct talks with Iran in order to smooth out bilateral relations and negotiate a new deal instead of the previous nuclear deal, which Washington abandoned in 2018. But Tehran refuses to hold any talks "under pressure" of sanctions from Washington, arguing that the US must first return to fulfilling its obligations under the existing nuclear deal and lift sanctions.


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