Iranian defence minister sends stern message to US

Iranian defence minister sends stern message to US

TEHRAN Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami on Wednesday vowed that Iran would “defeat the U.S.-Zionist front based on its national will and its formidable military,” according to Iran’s Mehr news agency.

“The Islamic Republic is now at peak military preparedness with a view to deterring any threat,” Mehr quoted Hatami as saying at an event in capital Tehran.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, meanwhile, quoted the defense minister as hailing “the failure of Washington's plans in the region after the defeat of militant groups in Iraq and Syria”.

“Following these shameful defeats, the Americans have resorted to full-scale economic warfare against the Iranian people,” the news agency quoted him as saying.

“Iran has always frustrated Washington's plots,” he added. “The U.S.-Zionist front will taste the bitterness of defeat this time as well.”

Hatami’s comments come amid mounting tension between Iran and the U.S. after the Pentagon announced the deployment earlier this week of an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf.

The Pentagon justified the naval deployment by citing “intelligence” of a possible looming Iranian attack on U.S. interests in the region.

Tehran responded to the escalation by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, a main artery for global oil shipments linking the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Oman. -AA/AFP