Iranian President Hassan Rouhani tvowed to fight his enemies until the bitter end, stressing Iran will never capitulate to the United States and Israel even if they kill, wound, and capture the Islamic Republic’s men.
“Iran won’t give up [pursuing] the goal of maintaining its independence and dignity even if it is bombarded and its men are martyred, wounded, and captured,” Rouhani declared.
“I explicitly declared that the Iranian nation will defeat the U.S., the Israeli regime, and the regional reactionaries through resistance and unity,” the Iranian president further said, the state-run Iranian outlet Press TV noted.
Iran will not surrender in the face of American economic and military pressure, a defiant Iranian president said, adding: “I explicitly declare that the Iranian nation will defeat the US, the Israeli regime, and the regional reactionaries through resistance and unity,” the semi-official Fars News reported.
Rouhani’s remarks come as the U.S. has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber taskforce in the Persian Gulf, citing an alleged possibility that Iran could attack the American interests in the region, including troops.
He made those comments in an address to local war veterans in Tehran on Thursday address — amid heightened rancor and growing friction between Iran and the Trump administration that triggered concerns about a possible military clash between the two sides.
About 5,000 American troops are now in Iraq with the ability to cross into Syria to combat the Islamic State (ISIS) and other jihadis if necessary. President Donald Trump on Friday ordered an additional 1,500 American troops to be deployed to the Middle East to help combat Iran’s growing threat.
Given the American forces’ ongoing withdrawal, it is unclear how many U.S. troops remain in Syria. However, Trump administration officials have indicated a residual force of about 400 troops will stay behind to deal with jihadi remnants and also counter Iranian presence close to the Israel border, which borders Syria. Moreover, more troops are expected to stay in northern Syria to combat the remnants of ISIS.
Rouhani cautioned that his Shiite forces are prepared to respond to any perceived aggression from the United States.
The New York Times suggested Trump has pushed Rouhani, the president of U.S.-designated state-sponsor of terrorism Iran into a corner, a move that may potentially force the Iranian leader to retaliate.
“Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the deal, along with the restarting of the sanctions, has put huge domestic pressure on Mr. Rouhani to strike back at the United States,” it reported.
On Wednesday, President Trump’s top envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, noted that one of America’s primary goals in Syria is to push Iran and its proxies out of the country.
Crippling and angering Iran, Trump has imposed a wave of sanctions not only on Iran’s financial sector but also on individual regime loyalists and the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).
Trump officials have deemed the IRGC a terrorist organization, dealing a significant blow to the Iranian regime. In response to the massive financial and military pressure the U.S. has imposed on Tehran, the Iranian president accused the United States of waging “economic war and an attack on people’s welfare” in Iran.
Last year, Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran atomic pact between Tehran, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The American commander-in-chief proceeded to reimpose sanctions suspended by the nuclear agreement.
The New York Times noted that some U.S. military officials were trying to de-escalate the tensions and prevent a confrontation with Iran even while dealing with Tehran-linked threats, adding:
In private meetings, military officials have warned the White House that its maximum-pressure campaign against Iran is motivating the kinds of threats to United States troops and American interests in the Middle East that led to an announcement on Sunday that the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers were heading to the gulf.
The deployments were prompted in part by electronic intercepts between Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and its proxies in Iraq that indicated they were preparing to attack American troops in Iraq and Syria, a senior administration official said.
The Iranian regime appears to be counting on the American officials going “back on their markedly belligerent rhetoric by either asserting they are not seeking war with the Islamic Republic or alleging that the ‘Iranian threat’ has been put on hold,” Press TV reported in May.