Iran President Hassan Rouhani calls for unity in face of United States pressure

Iran President Hassan Rouhani calls for unity in face of United States pressure

However, as analysts noted, U.S. allies and other USA officials including Pompeo and Chief of Naval Operations Navy Adm. John Richardson said the strike group deployment had been planned "for some time now". The claim came hours after Iranian and Lebanese media broadcasts aired reports of explosions at an Emirati port, that were later deemed false.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has slammed the "unprecedented" USA pressure on Tehran and urged unity among the country's political factions to overcome conditions which he said may be harder than those during the 1980s.

US President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran's leaders to sit down and talk with him about giving up their nuclear programme, and said he could not rule out a military confrontation, given the heightened tensions.

In a further provocative move Friday, the Pentagon announced that it would deploy an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to the Middle East to counter the "Iranian threat".

The Trump administration also deployed an aircraft carrier and bomber task force to the Middle East last week, claiming that it was a response to a possible threat to USA forces in the region by Iran.

Iran's situation could be worse than it was during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, he said according to the government's official website.

"What I'd like to see with Iran, I'd like to see them call me". Otherwise, he said Tehran would begin to enrich uranium at levels closer to weapons-grade levels.

USA officials have said they see no sign the Iranian threat has dissipated and on Thursday CNN reported U.S. intelligence indicates no sign of a "decrease in Iran's posture".

"The US is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guar Corps, or regular Iranian forces".

Millions of barrels of oil pass daily through the various bottlenecks from Middle East oil producers to global markets.

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"The Americans know that no other war will bring about their defeat to such an extent and that's why there won't be a war, because war is not part of the US strategy", Heshmatollah Falahatpishe, the head of Iran's parliamentary commission for national security and foreign affairs, said in a speech before lawmakers, according to ISNA.

"Washington is exacerbating regional tensions with its policy of applying maximum pressure on Iran", Niels Annen, a high-ranking official at the German Foreign Ministry, told the publication.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said the European Union would continue to support the nuclear pact because Iran continued to comply with inspections and uranium production limits.

Maas avoided any public criticism of Washington, saying both sides wanted to ensure peace in the Middle East.

"Their billion [-dollar] fleet can be destroyed with one missile", Ayatollah Yousef Tabatabai Nejad was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency after Friday prayers in Isfahan, according to Reuters.

"The SPVs (INSTEX) are Europe's attempt to appease Iran by showing that they are still trying their very best to facilitate proper transfers of payments to Iran".

"If (the Americans) make a move, we will hit them in the head", he said.

The Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has repeatedly called INSTEX a "meaningless" measure and "a bitter joke", adding that "Europeans should have stood up to the USA after it left the JCPOA and should have lifted all sanctions against Iran". The government gave a 60-day deadline for other countries to protect Iran's interests against US sanctions or it threatened not to implement its two commitments.

On Sunday, Iran's parliament held a closed session to discuss recent developments in the Gulf, state TV reported.

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