President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic will not surrender and stop defending its independence even if it is bombed and its men are killed, wounded, and captured.
The Iranian president made the remarks in a Thursday address to a group of war veterans in Tehran, amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington, and growing concerns about a possible military confrontation between the two sides.
“Iran won’t give up [pursuing] the goal of maintaining its independence and dignity even if it is bombarded and its men are martyred, wounded, and captured,” Rouhani said.
Rouhani noted that during the war imposed on Iran by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1980s, the Islamic Republic was under the pressure of a military attack and occupation of its territory, but today it is “faced with an economic war and an attack on people’s welfare.”
The new war is more complicated than the previous one, Rouhani said, calling on the nation to remain resistant and united in the face of the US hegemony.
“The enemies are pressuring Iran to make it regret [fighting for] its independence and dignity, but the people will once again show the enemies’ plots will not bear fruit,” he noted.
Iran will not surrender abjectly in the face of US sanctions, Rouhani stated, adding, “We will defeat the enemy through sacrifice and unity.”
“I explicitly declare that the Iranian nation will defeat the US, the Israeli regime, and the regional reactionaries through resistance and unity,” the Iranian president said.
Rouhani’s remarks come as the US has deployed an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber taskforce in the Persian Gulf, citing an alleged likelihood that Iran could target the American interests in the region.
The US remarkably stoked tensions with Iran last year by leaving a multilateral nuclear agreement with Tehran, and then restoring the sanctions that had been lifted under the deal.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon confirmed on Thursday it is considering sending additional US troops to the Middle East as a way to “bolster protection for American forces there” amid tensions with Iran.
However, American officials have on many occasions gone back on their markedly belligerent rhetoric by either asserting they are not seeking war with the Islamic Republic or alleging that the “Iranian threat” has been put on hold.