Trump: ‘Official End of Iran' if it Attacks
US President Donald Trump issued an ominous warning to Tehran on Sunday, suggesting that if Iran attacks American interests, it will be destroyed.
"If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again," Trump tweeted.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been on the rise as the United States has deployed a carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf over Iranian "threats."
The Trump administration has also ordered non-essential diplomatic staff out of Iraq, citing threats from Iranian-backed Iraqi armed groups.
The Iranian foreign minister downplayed the prospect of a new war in the region on Saturday, saying Tehran opposed it and no party was under the "illusion" Iran could be confronted.
"We are certain... there will not be a war since neither we want a war nor does anyone have the illusion they can confront Iran in the region," Mohammad Javad Zarif told state-run news agency IRNA at the end of a visit to China.
Iran-US relations hit a new low last year as Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed unilateral sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for Tehran scaling back its nuclear program.
The tension also comes days after sabotage attacks on several tankers near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates and drone strikes on a Saudi crude pipeline by Yemen’s Houthi militias, which act on Iranian orders.