A senior Iranian cleric warned on Friday that a US navy fleet could be “destroyed with one missile”, Reuters reported, citing the semi-official ISNA news agency.
The comments, by Ayatollah Yousef Tabatabai-Nejad, were made in the central Iranian city of Isfahan.
“Their billion (-dollar) fleet can be destroyed with one missile,” he was quoted as having said.
“If they attempt any move, they will… (face) dozens of missiles because at that time (government) officials won’t be in charge to act cautiously, but instead things will be in the hands of our beloved leader (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei),” warned Tabatabai-Nejad, who is the representative in Isfahan of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Earlier on Friday, the deputy leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ political bureau stressed that Iran will not engage in talks with the US and added that the United States would never “dare” to attack the Islamic republic.
“We will not negotiate. There will be no negotiations on any issue with the US and the US will not dare to attack Iran,” said the senior leader, Yadollah Javani.
Javani’s comments came after President Donald Trump urged the Iranian regime to agree to talks with the US aimed at ending its nuclear program – while hinting that the US could use military force against Iran.
At an impromptu news conference at the White House, Trump declined to say what prompted him to deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the region over what was described as unspecified threats.
“We have information that you don’t want to know about. They were very threatening and we have to have great security for this country and many other places,” he said.
Trump was then asked whether there was a risk of military confrontation with the American military presence in the area.
“I guess you could say that always, right? I don’t want to say no, but hopefully that won’t happen. We have one of the most powerful ships in the world that is loaded up and we don’t want to do anything,” he replied.
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened a “swift and decisive” US response to any attack by Iran.
“The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against US interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive US response,” Pompeo said.
“Our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve,” he made clear.
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