As Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers crumbles further, Iran’s president struck a muscular tone on dealings with the US, saying Thursday that “talks are useless”. President Hassan Rouhani made the comment in a speech in Tehran during the unveiling of the Bavar-373, a long-range surface-to-air missile system that he described as an improvement to the Russian S-300.
“Now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic,” Rouhani said in the televised speech.
He added: “When the enemy launches a missile against us, we cannot give a speech and say: ‘Mr. Rocket, please do not hit our country and our innocent people. Rocket-launching sir, if you can please hit a button and self-destroy the missile in the air.’”
Tensions are high between the US and Iran after President Trump pulled the US out of an international accord designed to curb Iran’s nuclear program and has reimposed sanctions on Iran—and even slapped them on Zarif this week—in an effort to force it to renegotiate the agreement.
Tensions soared in the Gulf in June and July amid attacks on oil tankers, Iran’s downing of an unmanned US surveillance drone and after the US said it had downed an Iranian drone. Trump has said the attack against the US drone prompted him to order a military strike in response, only to call it off at the last minute.
Earlier, in a rare statement issued, Iraqi paramilitary forces backed by Iran said on Wednesday they hold the United States responsible for attacks targeting their bases in the country. The statement issued by the Popular Mobilisation Forces, or PMF, said the group has accurate information that shows the US brought in four Israeli drones this year to work as part of the US fleet in Iraq and target militia positions in Iraq.
“We announce that the United States is ultimately responsible for what happened and we will hold it responsible for what will happen as of today.
We have no choice but to defend ourselves and our bases with the weapons at our disposal,” said the statement, which was signed by Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of the PMF.