Khamenei, Amid Tensions With US, Says There Will Be No War - Reports
19:50 14.05.2019(updated 21:37 14.05.2019)
The announcement by the Iranian leader comes amid increasing tensions between the Islamic Republic and the US, which has recently increased its military presence in the Middle East in order to counter Tehran.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei stated that the country will continue resisting the US, but stressed that there would be no war between the two states, Iranian PressTV reported. Khamenei further stated that in line with the policy of "resistance", Tehran has decided to reject Washington's offer to negotiate a new nuclear deal.
"The Iranian nation's definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and in this confrontation, the US would be forced into a retreat", he said.
A year after the US unilaterally withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran announced that it would backtrack on some of its "voluntary" commitments under the accord. The agreement lifted international sanctions from the Islamic Republic in exchange for imposing limits on the country's nuclear programme.
Tehran justified its steps by the failure of the EU and other signatories to resist pressure from the US on Iran. Russia and China slammed the US' actions as potentially leading to the collapse of the agreement. All signatories to the deal called on Iran to adhere to the JCPOA and promised to work towards preserving the accord.
In addition to the pressure of US sanctions on Iran, which has recently intensified, Washington has increased its military presence in the region, sending an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf and reportedly deploying B-52 strategic bombers to the Middle East. Recent media reports suggest that the US could deploy up to 120,000 troops in the Middle East if Iran starts developing nuclear weapons.
The report was rejected by US President Donald Trump as "fake news", although he didn't exclude that such a plan could be adopted in the future. He also stated that if the US decides to deploy troops to counter Iran, the numbers would be a "hell of a lot" bigger.
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