Iranian cleric warns US: The price of war is ‘very high’
Senior Iranian cleric Ahmad Khatami warned the U.S. on Wednesday that the price of attacking Iran would be “very high” for America and its ally Israel.
“The price of a war with Iran is very high for America,” Khatami told worshippers at Eid prayers in Tehran, Reuters reported. “They know if they harm this country and this state in the slightest way, the United States and its main ally in the region, the Zionist regime, would be targeted.”
Khatami’s comments are similar to those of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday. According to Reuters, Rouhani said Iran’s military prowess would deter Washington from aggressive action.
Iran has previously said it could hit Israeli cities with missiles.
Khatami told worshippers on Wednesday that President Trump’s offer last month of an unconditional summit was unacceptable because Washington wants Tehran to abandon its missile program and attempts at regional hegemony.
“Americans say you should accept what we say in the talks,” Khatami said. “So this is not negotiation, but dictatorship. The Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation would stand up against dictatorship.”
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei put a moratorium on talks last week.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration reimposed sanctions on Iran’s car industry, precious metals trade and purchases of U.S. dollars. Trump has also threatened another round of sanctions this November, targeting Iran’s oil exports and banking sector.
National security adviser John Bolton said Wednesday that the current sanctions are “having a significant effect.”
“I think the effects, the economic effects certainly, are even stronger than we anticipated,” Bolton said.
But he warned that Iran had not yet changed its behavior.
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