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Iran ‘never seeks war’ with US, says Rouhani

Iran ‘never seeks war’ 
with US, says Rouhani

Iran “never seeks war” with the United States, President Hassan Rouhani said as he sought to rein in soaring tensions between the two archfoes.
“Iran has no interest to increase tension in the region and it never seeks war with any country, including (the) US,” the president said, quoted by state news agency IRNA on Wednesday.
Rouhani was speaking by phone to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, as Tehran and Washington engaged in an escalating war of words following Iran’s shooting down of a US drone last week.
“We have always been committed to regional peace and stability and will make efforts in this respect,” the Iranian president told Macron.
US President Donald Trump said he pulled back from retaliatory strikes on Iran at the last minute, rejecting Tehran’s claim that the aircraft was in its airspace.
But pressure mounted this week with Trump announcing sanctions on Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top officials.
General Hossein Salami, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, mocked the latest sanctions as an “irrational” reaction to the loss of the sophisticated drone.
The new measures are the latest against Tehran since Trump pulled out of a landmark nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.
Khamenei said Wednesday that the Islamic republic remains unbowed by pressure exerted by the United States and its “insults”.
“The Iranian nation seeks dignity, independence and progress; that’s why pressures by cruel enemies do not affect Iranians,” Khamenei said in a speech to a crowd in Tehran.
“The graceful Iranian nation has been accused and insulted by the world’s most vicious regime, the US,” he said, quoted by his office.
“The Iranian nation won’t give up over such insults,” said Khamenei.
Rouhani blamed the United States for regional tensions and said if Washington had stuck to the deal “we would have witnessed positive developments in the region”.