Tehran said on Monday that it will defend itself, warning the United States and Israel against setting out on any “adventures” during the Trump administration’s final days in office, and as regional tensions simmer.
The US Navy said a week ago a nuclear submarine was being deployed to the Gulf, and Israeli media later reported that an Israeli submarine had crossed the Suez Canal and was headed for the Gulf.
The report of Israeli deployment has not been confirmed officially, but Tehran on Monday reminded all players in the region that it has laid down limits for encroachment on its national security.
“Everybody knows what the Persian Gulf means to Iran, and what policy Iran pursues about its national interests and security,” Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters. “They are aware of the risks of crossing Iran’s red lines.”
Tehran has accused Israel of myriad anti-Iran operations, including the assassination last month of senior nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
Khatibzadeh also said that Iran has sent “messages to the US government and our friends in the region [warning] the current US regime not to embark on a new adventure in its final days at the White House.” He added that Iran was not seeking to increase tension, and called for “rational people in Washington” to do the same until President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated.
Meanwhile, Washington has accused Iran of involvement in a rocket attack last week near its embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Khatibzadeh said Tehran “dismisses and condemns” the allegations made by US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo against Iran after the attack in Iraq.
Instead, the spokesman accused the US administration of changing neighboring countries into “bases of insecurity” against Iran. The latest exchange of terse remarks and accusations come just weeks before the first anniversary of the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in January 2020.