Trump says does not foresee war with Iran
Leader of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Iran does not seek war, but it will unhesitatingly confront and strike those who threaten the Iranian people’s interests, dignity and glory.
"If the Islamic Republic decides to challenge and fight, it will do so unequivocally. We’re not after wars, but we strongly defend the Iranian nation’s interests, dignity and glory. If anyone threatens that, we will unhesitatingly confront and strike them," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
The Leader described the Iranian nation as being “courageous, vigilant and ready for action on all fronts.
“Contrary to certain propositions that a war would break out, we shall never drive the country in the direction of war. However, if others attempt to impose anything on our country, we shall stand against them with all our might.”
In a tweet on Tuesday, US President Donald Trump accused Iran of "orchestrating" that day's storming of the US Embassy in Baghdad by protesters angry over the American airstrikes on Iraq’ popular mobilization fighters.
“Iran will be held fully responsible for lives lost, or damage incurred, at any of our facilities. They will pay a very BIG PRICE!”
In response, Ayatollah Khamenei said, "That guy has tweeted that we (the United States) see Iran responsible for the events in Baghdad and we will respond to Iran.
"First, you can't do anything. Second, if you were logical – which you are not – you'd see that your crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan... have made nations hate you.”
Trump: I like peace
But later in the day, Trump said he does not foresee a war with Iran over the situation in Iraq.
Asked about the possibility of tensions spiraling into a war with Iran, Trump told reporter, “Do I want to? No. I want to have peace. I like peace. And Iran should want to have peace more than anybody. So I don’t see that happening.”
Ayatollah Khamenei strongly condemned US airstrikes on Iraq, saying the raid were conducted out of vengeance.
Look at what the US is doing in Iraq and Syria. They are taking revenge on Hashd al-Sha’abi because it crippled and destroyed Daesh, which they (the Americans) had created and nurtured,” Ayatollah Khamenei said, referring to Sunday's deadly US strikes on Iraq’s popular forces.
“The Iranian government and the nation and I strongly condemn the US malice,” he added.
The US carried out the strike in western Iraq in retaliation for alleged rocket fire that Washington said killed an American civilian contractor at a military base in northern Iraq on Friday.
Swiss envoy summoned
Iran on Wednesday summoned the Swiss charge d’affaires, whose country represents US interests in Iran, to protest “warmongering” remarks by American officials and Washington’s “blame game” policy on developments in Iraq.
The Swiss envoy was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday to receive a strong official note of protest regarding the statements by US officials, which Tehran said were in violation of the United Nations Charter.
Mohsen Baharvand, an aide to the Iranian foreign minister, asked the Swiss envoy to deliver Iran’s protest to the US officials and inform them that “Iraq is an independent country and the Iraqi people too are freedom-loving, independence-seeking and dignified.”
Foreign spy services role
Ayatollah Khamenei also commented on the violent riots that hit several Iranian cities in mid-November on the back of a series of popular protests over a government decision to increase fuel prices.
The Leader said the people had some demands, but that the enemy quickly intervened to take advantage of those demands and commit acts of vandalism.
The people’s vigilance came to light when they broke ranks with the rioters, who were trying to hide behind ordinary protesters.
“The main culprits of the mid-November riots and the attacks on infrastructure such as gasoline storage sites, wheat warehouses and public property were linked to foreign intelligence agencies,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
On the first day of the unrest, the Leader added, the Americans jumped for joy, but they became disappointed shortly afterward as the riots came to end and they failed to achieve their desired results.
AFP, Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.