Amid rising tensions between US and Iran over nuclear deal, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said US does not want war with Iran. Speaking in Russia, Pompeo said the US was looking for Iran to behave like a “normal country” but would respond if its interests were attacked.
Last week, the US deployed warships and warplanes to the Gulf. Tensions escalated even further after an incident with four tankers off the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, with US investigators reportedly believing Iran or groups it supports were involved.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has also said there will be no war with the US. Pompeo, who held talks with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Russian city of Sochi, said the US “fundamentally” did not seek a conflict with Iran.
Pompeo said “We have also made clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked, we will most certainly respond in an appropriate fashion.”
In remarks carried on state media and on his Twitter account, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei repeated Tehran’s position that it would not negotiate with the US on a nuclear deal to replace the one President Donald Trump withdrew from last year.
But Khamenei said: “We don’t seek a war, nor do they.” On Monday, President Hassan Rouhani told a meeting with clerics that Iran was “too great to be intimidated by anyone”, saying: “God willing we will pass this difficult period with glory and our heads held high, and defeat the enemy.”