The conflict between Iran and the US remains explosive. Tehran wants information that suggests “a US conspiracy and a fabricated pretext for war”.
Tehran has accused US President Donald Trump of just looking for an excuse to start a war against Iran in the Persian Gulf. “Intelligence information from Iraq suggests a US conspiracy and a fabricated pretext for war (against Iran),” tweeted Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Sarif on Thursday.
Although Iran does not want a war, it would consistently defend its security and interests, Sarif emphasized. He advised the incumbent US president to deal with the corona pandemic in his country rather than send bombers and warships to the region.
USA continues to fear an Iranian act of revenge
Next week will mark the first anniversary of the targeted killing of Iranian General Ghassem Soleimani in Iraq by US drones – and on Trump’s orders. The US fears an Iranian act of revenge and has therefore increased its military presence in the Persian Gulf. According to President Hassan Ruhani, Iran wants to continue to avenge Soleimani’s killing, but Ruhani is reluctant to make specific threats on the anniversary.
“The order to kill General Solejmani is one of Trump’s unforgivable sins (…) one suitable day the Iranian people will avenge the general’s blood,” the president said on Thursday. He called Soleimani a national hero who became a regional legend after his martyrdom.
Observers in Tehran believe that Iran will withhold harsh actions at least until the new President Joe Biden takes office on January 20. Ruhani in particular hopes that Democrat Biden will both return to the 2015 Vienna nuclear deal and lift the sanctions. The economic sanctions imposed by Republican Trump in particular have plunged Iran into the worst economic crisis in its recent history.