Iran says will not hesitate to respond to US attack on its territory

AFP , Monday 5 Feb 2024

Iran said Monday it "will not hesitate" to respond in the event of US attacks on its territory after the White House declined to say whether strikes on Iran were ruled out.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei listens to a speaker during a meeting with army s air force and air defense staff, in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Feb. 5, 2024.AP


White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday the US will press on with its attacks against Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria.

Asked whether the United States would rule out the possibility of striking Iran directly, Sullivan told NBC, "it would not be wise for me to talk about what we're ruling in and ruling out."

"If (Iran) chose to respond directly to the United States, they would be met with a swift and forceful response from us," he said.

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani hit back on Monday, saying: "The Islamic Republic has shown that it has always reacted decisively to any threat to its security, territorial integrity and sovereignty."

Iran "will not hesitate to use its capabilities" to respond to any attacks on its soil, said Kanani during his weekly press briefing.

He nonetheless reiterated that Iran "does not seek to aggravate tensions and crises in the region".

Regional tensions have soared since the October 7 outbreak of the Israeli war on Gaza, drawing in militant groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

The US army said it carried out airstrikes against five missiles in Yemen on Sunday.

The strikes came a day after US and UK forces launched a wave of air raids against Yemen's Houthis -- their third round of joint military action in response to the rebels' persistent attacks on shipping.

The Houthis say their attacks in the Red Sea are in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

The US military struck sites in Syria and Iraq overnight on Friday to Saturday, killing civilians in both countries.

Iran along with Iraq and Syria condemned the american strikes.


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