A top Iranian commander shut down the idea of talks with the U.S. Friday while shrugging off the presence of American B-52 bombers that arrived in the area the previous day.
“No talks will be held with the Americans and the Americans will not dare take military action against us,” General Yadollah Javani of the Islamic Republic’s Revolutionary Guards said, according to Iran’s state-run Tasnim news agency.
Iran “sees America as unreliable,” the Guards’ deputy chief for political affairs added.
The U.S. deployed the four bombers as well as the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf and they reportedly arrived at the Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.
The Pentagon moved the bombers and aircraft carrier to the region amid fears that Iran is transporting short-range ballistic missiles in the Persian Gulf with the intention of striking U.S. targets, putting American forces and U.S.-backed coalitions in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Qatar in danger.
“What I would like to see with Iran, I would like to see them call me,” Trump said at the White House Thursday.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a warning to the state terror sponsor, saying that, “our restraint to this point should not be mistaken by Iran for a lack of resolve.”
“The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against U.S. interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive U.S. response,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“We do not seek war,” the secretary of state said. “But Iran’s 40 years of killing American soldiers, attacking American facilities, and taking American hostages is a constant reminder that we must defend ourselves.”
Iran has escalated its rhetoric since April, when the U.S. officially designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and Pompeo announced an end to the temporary exemptions from U.S. sanctions that eight countries had been granted, allowing them to continue importing Iranian oil and gas.