0140 GMT October 16, 2019
"Enemies are afraid of any possible war or conflict with Iran," Hatami said at a strategic meeting with senior officials of the Defense Ministry in Tehran on Saturday.
He added that Iran's military and defensive capabilities are among the most important strategies to counter threats and emphasized that under the ongoing complicated circumstances, the Iranian Defense Ministry seeks to boost the country's deterrent power and encounter the US sabre-rattling in the Middle East.
The minister said raising issues such as Iran's nuclear case, human rights, missile power and its regional presence are only pretexts to increase hostility towards the Islamic Republic, Presstv Reported.
The Iranian defense chief further said that the eradication of Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in the region conveyed the message to the world that the US and its allies, as the real supporters of terrorism, cannot hatch plots to provoke insecurity in the region through lies. He said any conspiracy against regional countries is doomed to failure thanks to Iran's leading role.
Hatami noted that the Israeli regime provided Daesh in Iraq and Syria with its full support in order to achieve its "ominous and evil" goals and said the Americans and Israelis benefit from the expansion of insecurity, instability and chaos in the region.
The head of the al-Anbar command of Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units forces Qassim Mosleh said last month that the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the PMU have successfully finished a joint operation clearing the Iraq-Syria border area of remaining Daesh terrorists.
The operation successfully cleared 230 kilometers of the two countries’ border region, Mosleh said.
Syria and Iraq have both pledged to step up future security presence on the border in a bid to secure the strategic crossing. Iraq has planned to install thermal surveillance cameras and use aircraft to further reinforce security in the region.
Iraq and Syria have been expanding political and economic ties with Iran as they seek assistance in the post-war reconstruction of their countries which had large swathes of their territories overrun by foreign-backed terrorist outfits in the past years.
The US, however, has been engaged in a military campaign seeking to counter the emerging regional alliance.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Hatami slammed the "very deceitful and false" offer by Washington to hold unconditional talks with Tehran "because they [White House officials] have so far implemented tens of unilateral and illegal conditions and preconditions against our country” and spared no efforts to harm the Islamic Republic.
However, Iran would strongly continue its path and resistance and the enemies' evil acts would fail to impede the Islamic Republic's progress, he said.
Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington is keen to hold negotiations with Iran "with no preconditions" amid the intensification of tensions between the two countries.
Addressing a news conference in Switzerland, the US secretary of state said, "We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We are ready to sit down with them."
In reaction to his American counterpart's claim, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif lashed out at US “economic terrorism” against the "innocent" Iranian people, saying war and talks will never go together.
On his official Twitter page, Zarif posted a video showing a "little boy whose heartbroken mother can't get him prosthetic legs as he grows" and emphasized that innocent civilians are being targeted by sanctions and economic terrorism applied to Iran by the United States.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Moussavi also said a game of words by the United States is not important to Iran, but the Islamic Republic expects a change in Washington’s general approach to the Iranian nation.
“For the Islamic Republic of Iran, a game of words and expressing covert goals under the guise of new words is not a criterion for action, but a change in the United States’ general approach and practical stance toward the Iranian nation is the criterion,” he said.