Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday cautioned U.S. President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran, saying “America should know … war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” but he did not rule out peace between the two countries, either.
Iran faces increased U.S. pressure and looming sanctions after Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats, Rouhani said: “Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret,” the state new agency IRNA reported.
“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said, leaving open the possibility of peace between the two countries which have been at odds since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests,” Rouhani said, in an apparent reference to reported efforts by Washington to destabilize Iran’s Islamic government.
In Washington, U.S. officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Trump administration has launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups.
Current and former U.S. officials said the campaign paints Iranian leaders in a harsh light, at times using information that is exaggerated or contradicts other official pronouncements, including comments by previous administrations.
Rouhani scoffed at Trump’s threat to halt Iranian oil exports and said Iran has a dominant position in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping waterway.
“Anyone who understands the rudiments of politics doesn’t say ‘we will stop Iran’s oil exports’…we have been the guarantor of the regional waterway’s security throughout history,” Rouhani said, cited by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are halted.
Rouhani’s apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries came in reaction to efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.
Iranian officials have in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for any hostile U.S. action.
Separately, a top Iranian military commander warned that the Trump government might be preparing to invade Iran.
“The enemy’s behavior is unpredictable,” military chief of staff General Mohammad Baqeri said, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
“Although the current American government does not seem to speak of a military threat, according to precise information it has been trying to persuade the U.S. military to launch a military invasion (of Iran),” Baqeri said.
Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of new U.S. sanctions, putting oil markets under huge strain amid supply outages elsewhere.
Washington initially planned to totally shut Iran out of global oil markets after Trump abandoned the deal that limited Iran’s nuclear ambitions, demanding all other countries to stop buying its crude by November.
But it has somewhat eased its stance since, saying that it may grant sanction waivers to some allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies.
Meanwhile, reports show that Iran is on the verge of collapse, after weeks of protests against the tyrannical regime.
In signs of the imminent collapse, Iranian citizens have been protesting against the government constantly for week, and protests were quite frequent in 2017. Video below highlights 2018 protests in Tehran.
“The Iranian regime is already showing signs of economic and political collapse, although through the 40 years of its existence it has presented itself as a powerful regime that benefits from popular support, a prosperous economy despite the sanctions, comprehensive economic, technological and scientific capabilities and unprecedented military abilities,” explains the report by A. Savyon and Yigal Carmon.
Savyon is the director of the group’s Iran Media Project, and Carmon is the MEMRI founder.
The nation not only has seen unprecedented demonstrations against its own government, but its currency, the rial, has been plunging, despite government efforts to prop it up.
“Trump’s May 2018 announcement about planned economic measures against Iran was enough to destabilize the country’s economy and cause resurgence, on May 26, 2018, of large-scale protests in central Tehran that lasted several days. In our assessment, even if the protests die down or are repressed by the regime for a while, they will eventually recur and intensify, because the Iranian regime can offer no solution for the economic crisis except by changing its regional and nuclear policies, i.e., by directing Iran’s national resources towards benefiting the Iranian people rather than promoting its goals outside the country.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
July 22nd, 2018