Meanwhile the country’s political leader, Hassan Rouhani, reopened his war of words with Donald Trump by claiming: “He can’t be trusted.” Relations between Washington and Tehran have taken a significant nosedive in recent years, especially since Mr Trump pulled his country out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aimed at preventing Iran developing nuclear weapons, citing repeated violations.
The USA consequently imposed stringent sanctions targeting Iranian oil experts, while Mr Trump said earlier this year he called off an airstrike over concerns about the heavy number of casualties which would result.
During an interview with Russian broadcaster RT, Seyed Abbas Araqchi, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs, said Washington would never attack his country because Mr Trump was wary of what he called Iran’s “high defence power”.
He said: “We are fully confident because we are completely prepared.”
In my view, they do not dare to make aggression against us
Seyed Abbas Araqchi
Iran was ready to defend itself, a fact the US was fully aware of, Mr Araqchi said.
He added: “In my view, they do not dare to make aggression against us and as a result, we believe that there will be no war to break out in the region.”
Mr Araqchi’s remarks echo those of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Deputy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, who last month had a stern warning for any country who launched military action.
He said: “The enemies should know that they will receive a harsh, firm and decisive response to any aggression or move against the country and the Islamic Revolution.
“30 years after the end of the Iraqi-imposed war, no country dares to fire even a single bullet against us and this shows that the enemy is well aware of the Islamic Republic’s power and might.”
Similarly, in February, Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri, the Iranian Armed Forces’s chief of Staff, said Iran’s enemies did not dare to attack his country due to its high defense capabilities and preparedness.
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He added: “Enemies do not have the courage to attack Iran militarily and they have resorted to espionage and cultural measures more.
“At present, over 80 percent of military equipment needed by our country’s armed forces is manufactured inside Iran.”
Speaking in Tehran yesterday about efforts to salvage the JCPOA deal, Mr Rouhani, who has exchanged insults with Mr Trump on a number of occasions since 2016, told reporters: “When I was in New York for the UN General Assembly meeting, relatively good proposals were raised and I could decide there to break the sanctions but the prevailing conditions displayed that we could not trust the US president.
“The US president makes a different decision every day and if another president was ruling the US, we could have ended the job late in September; some countries still try to play a mediatory role and make some proposals and we give them some proposals too.”
A strategic dossier published last week by the UK-based International Institute for Economic Studies (IISS) suggested Iran’s principle threat in the region came from its extensive network of regional partners, from Hizbollah in Lebanon to the Houthies in Yemen, as well as sophisticated cyberwarfare techniques.
The report added: “Between 2009–10 and 2019, and often via non-state proxies such as the Iranian Cyber Army, Iran has invested heavily in developing and using cyber capabilities, for propaganda, intelligence exploitation and disruption.
“This appears to be an attempt to offset its conventional military weakness when compared with Saudi Arabia and the US, with an IRGC general claiming in 2013 that Iran was the ‘fourth biggest cyber power among the world’s cyber armies’.”
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