Iran will not surrender its independence and dignity in the face of US pressure even if it is bombed, President Hassan Rouhani said amid Tehran’s ongoing standoff with Washington.
Iran now faces an attack that is more complex than any it had faced before, Rouhani said at a ceremony commemorating the 1980s Iran-Iraq war. The US pressure campaign against Tehran involves “an attack on welfare and living conditions of our people,” he said.
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“We need resistance, so our enemies know if they bomb our land, and if our children are martyred, wounded or arrested, we will not give up on our goals for the independence of our country and our pride,” Rouhani told the gathering.
Rouhani said the culture of “self-sacrifice” must define Iran’s way forward, as he hailed the Iranian people for their resilience in the face of “severe sanctions” imposed by Washington.
He also said that Tehran could still “defeat” the US as well as their allies in the Middle East, including Israel. Earlier on Thursday, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also said that the Iranian youth would be able to see the demise of Washington and Tel Aviv.
The strong statements came amid spiraling tensions between Washington and Tehran, which have dramatically escalated since last May, when President Donald Trump unilaterally pulled Washington out of a hard-earned 2015 Iranian nuclear deal. Since that time, the US has repeatedly imposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic as well as threatened those who traded with it.
Washington did not limit itself to economic measures, either. The US recently sent an aircraft carrier strike group and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers to Iran’s doorstep. The demonstration of force has been accompanied by some belligerent rhetoric from the US, including Trump vowing to respond with “great force” to any Iran’s provocation and warned that it would spell “the official end” of Iran. Tehran responded by saying that “economic terrorism and genocidal taunts” would do little harm to the Iranian nation.
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The ongoing war of words has even sparked fear among some of the US western allies and the Middle Eastern states that the standoff could eventually spill over into a real armed conflict. However, both the US and Iran have been downplaying these fears.