TEHRAN – Iran is very closely monitoring the actions of the United States in the Middle East, but it will never start a war first, said Islamic President Hassan Rouhani during a telephone conversation with Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on April 25th.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is very closely following and observing the actions of Americans, but it will never start a (armed) conflict and will not initiate tension (in the Middle East region),” the Iranian state news agency IRNA reports.
At the same time, Rouhani noted the positive dynamics of relations between Iran and Qatar, emphasizing the need for further development of relations between the two neighbors in the Persian Gulf.
The Emir of Qatar, in turn, pointed out the need for joint work of all countries in the region to prevent the growth of tension.
US President Donald Trump previously ordered the country’s naval forces to destroy Iranian warships, which “pursue American ships at sea.” “I ordered the US Navy to shell and destroy any Iranian warships if they pursue our ships at sea,” Trump wrote on April 22 on Twitter.
The decision of the White House was a reaction to statements by representatives of the military-political leadership of Iran after the incident in the Persian Gulf last week. For example, Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri , Commander of the IRGC Naval Forces, warned on April 20 of the consequences of the presence of aircraft carriers and other U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf, indicating that the IRGC fleet has missiles with a range of 700 kilometers, including to combat underwater targets. The warning was voiced by the Iranian rear admiral amid a recent confrontation between the naval forces of the IRGC and the US Navy in the Persian Gulf.
The U.S. military said April 15 that eleven IRGC boats approached US warships in the Persian Gulf, identifying these actions as “dangerous and provocative.” Later, the IRGC command called the complaints of the American side “baseless” and “false”, comparing them with the “Hollywood scripts”.
On Thursday, April 23, against the backdrop of a new surge in confrontation between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East region, the IRGC commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami spoke out strongly . “We gave orders to our naval forces. If a warship or US unit threatens our security, then it will be attacked, ”said the Iranian military leader.