Iran’s spokesperson for its diplomatic mission to the United Nations accused President Donald Trump and his administration of waging “propaganda warfare” and using “fake intelligence” to escalate tensions with the Persian Gulf nation.Alireza Miryousefi made the Thursday statement after the U.S. State Department withdrew non-essential staff from the American embassy in Iraq, citing alleged threats from Iran and Iranian-backed militants.
The Trump administration’s posture toward Iran has grown increasingly tense in recent weeks, as U.S. officials have said Iranian-backed groups had planned attacks on American and allied interests in the region.“This is just the latest escalation in the propaganda warfare the U.S. waged against Iran, using ‘fake intelligence’ perhaps hoping to initiate a conflict,” Miryousefi said in an official statement, Iran’s Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
“Iran is no threat to anybody in Iraq or elsewhere, and Iran is not preparing for any attacks anywhere.”
National Security Advisor John Bolton listens while President Donald Trump speaks to the press at the White House on May 13 in Washington, D.C. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images “Iran, as is evidenced by our history, only acts in self-defense, and has no offensive strategy against any nation,” the diplomatic official added.
“Iranians will not capitulate to this new psychological war.”Despite the warnings from the U.S., allies have expressed skepticism about the threat posed by Iran. British Major General Chris Ghika, a senior officer in the U.S.-backed coalition fighting ISIS, said on Tuesday that he had seen “no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria.
”European Union foreign minister Federica Mogherini also warned against escalating tensions.“We are living in a crucial, delicate moment where the most relevant and responsible attitude to take is that of maximum restraint and avoiding any escalation on a military side,” she said.Last week, Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton announced that the U.
S. had deployed the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Persian Gulf region. He said the move was intended to “send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.
” It was also reported this week that top administration officials recently reviewed a plan that would see 120,000 U.S. troops deployed to counter Iran.Iranian officials dismissed the move, saying they have no plans to attack the U.S. but will not hesitate to defend themselves if necessary.“Iran does not seek tension in the region but Tehran will defend its rights powerfully,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif reiterated on Thursday during a trip to Japan, according to IRNA.
Iranian demonstrators carry a portrait of Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and an effigy of President Donald Trump during.....