Iranian supreme leader calls on country's military to bolster defenses

Iranian supreme leader calls on country's military to bolster defenses
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Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Sunday called on Iran’s armed forces to expand their defense capabilities, despite also saying that was unlikely, according to his official website.

“In terms of political calculations, there is no chance of a military war; however, the armed forces must accelerate their human and equipment capabilities day by day, through vigilance, efficient and agile management, remembering that every step they take toward reinforcing the Armed Forces capabilities,” he said in a meeting with Iranian commanders and officials.

The comments come amid heightened tensions between Iran and the U.S.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE in May pulled the U.S. out of an Obama-era nuclear agreement between Iran and other world powers. Last month, Trump reimposed sanctions against Iran that were previously lifted as part of a nuclear agreement. He is expected to impose more in November.

Khamenei has previously said Iran is not interested in renegotiating a new agreement with the U.S. He tweeted last week that, “Negotiations with former U.S. officials, who at least saved some face, bore such results!”

“With current brazen U.S. officials—who have unsheathed their swords against Iranians—what negotiations can we have? Thus no negotiations with any U.S. official at any level will be held,” Khamenei added in his tweet.

Iran has previously warned the U.S. against war.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in July that “war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” Trump responded to that warning with an all-caps tweet, writing that Iran “will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before” if it threatened the U.S.

Earlier last month, Trump said he still would be willing to meet with Iranian leaders without any preconditions. Administration officials said Trump's reimposition of sanctions on Iran was "consistent with other meetings with what you might refer to as less friendly regimes … which is not to give a lot of, any sanctions relief in advance of a meeting to make very clear that the United States keep the maximum pressure on these regimes until our goals are achieved."