Iran said on Saturday it would respond firmly to any U.S. threat, as reported by the semi-official Tasnim news agency amid growing tensions between Tehran and Washington over the shooting down of an unmanned U.S. drone by the Islamic Republic.
“Regardless of any decision they (U.S. officials) make … we will not allow any of Iran’s borders to be violated. Iran will firmly confront any aggression or threat by America,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi told Tasnim.
On Thursday, an Iranian missile destroyed a surveillance drone.
While Tehran repeated that the drone was shot down over its territory, Washington said the incident had occurred in international airspace.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike to retaliate because it could have killed 150 people, and signaled he was open to talks with Tehran.
“We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights (sic) when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General,” Trump tweeted. “10 minutes before the strike I stopped it.”
“Any mistake by Iran’s enemies, in particular America and its regional allies, would be like firing at a powder keg that will burn America, its interests and its allies to the ground,” the senior spokesman of Iran’s Armed Forces, Abolfazl Shekarchi, told Tasnim on Saturday.
The United States and Saudi Arabia have also blamed Iran for attacks on two oil tankers last week in the Gulf of Oman and on four tankers off the United Arab Emirates on 12 May, both near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which is a major conduit for global oil supplies.
Iran has denied any involvement in those incidents.
Britain’s Foreign Office said Middle East minister Andrew Murrison will call for “urgent de-escalation” of regional tensions during talks with the Iranian government in Tehran on Sunday.