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'There will not be war with US', Iran's Khamenei says

Iran's Supreme leader made the remarks amid rising tensions on Tuesday [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 May, 2019

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In a speech to state officials, Khamenei said the showdown between the Islamic republic and the United States was a test of resolve rather than a military encounter.
Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on "there is not going to be any war" with the United States, his official website reported on Tuesday.

In a speech to state officials, Khamenei said the showdown between the Islamic republic and the United States was a test of resolve rather than a military encounter.

"This face-off is not military because there is not going to be any war. Neither we nor them (the US) seek war. They know it will not be in their interest," he said, quoted on the Khamenei.ir website.

"The definite decision of the Iranian nation is to resist against America," Khamenei said, adding that "in this showdown America will be forced to retreat... because our resolve is stronger."

The supreme leader said negotiating with the US was "poison" because the Americans wanted to take away Iran's strong points such as its missiles or its "strategic depth" in the region.

"Negotiating with the present American government is doubly poisonous... they are not decent humans, they don't stand by anything," he said referring to the US decision to withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major world powers.

Khamenei accused US President Donald Trump of being uninformed about the situation in Iran.

"Their president says every Friday there are demonstrations in Tehran against the state... Firstly, it's on Saturdays. Second, it's in Paris, not Tehran.”

The remarks came after days of rising tensions in the Gulf, which has witnessed at least two attacks.

The United States has already strengthened its military presence in the region, including deploying a number of strategic B-52 bombers in response to alleged Iranian threats.

On Tuesday, drone attacks claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels shut down one of Saudi Arabia's major oil pipelines, further ratcheting up Gulf tensions after the sabotage of the ships.

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude exporter and OPEC kingpin, said two pumping stations had been targeted early on Tuesday.

Houthi rebel spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam wrote on Twitter that the attacks were "a response to the aggressors continuing to commit genocide" against the Yemeni people.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened in the Yemen war to bolster the internationally recognised government's efforts against the Houthis in March 2015.

The reported pipeline attacks came after the UAE said four ships were damaged in "sabotage attacks" off the emirate of Fujairah, close to the Hormuz, on Sunday.

While Washington and its Gulf allies stopped short of blaming Riyadh's regional arch-rival Tehran for the sabotage, US President Donald Trump warned Iran against doing anything to harm US interests.

"If they (Iran) do anything, it would be a very bad mistake," Trump warned at the White House.

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani hit back, saying the Islamic Republic was "too great to be intimidated by anyone".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed similar sentiments to Khamenei on Tuesday, saying Washington does not want war with Iran, though he vowed to keep pressuring Tehran amid rising tensions.

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