Have no desire to wage war against any nation, says Hassan Rouhani

Iran has declared it “will not wage war against any nation” after the US announced that a further 1,000 troops are to be sent to the Middle East amid rising tensions.

The US move, announced by the acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, comes after the US blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tanker ships last week, which has raised fears of a confrontation, and Tehran declaring it had increased its rate of uranium enrichment.

Shanahan said the troop deployment was for “defensive purposes”, citing concerns about a threat from Iran. “The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable, credible intelligence we have received on hostile behaviour by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region,” he said in a statement.

The Iranian president, Hassan Rouhani, replied on Tuesday that Iran had no desire for conflict.

“Iran will not wage war against any nation,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV. “Those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience.”

He added: “Despite all of the Americans’ efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have been unsuccessful.”

The US released more photographs on Monday to support its claims that Iran was responsible for attacks on commercial tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

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