Trump threatens Iran with 'great force'

US President says Tehran is very hostile toward Washington, will be met with “great force” if it attempts anything against US interests.

Elad Benari ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump said on Monday Iran would be met with “great force” if it attempted anything against US interests in the Middle East.

Speaking to reporters and quoted by Reuters, Trump added that Tehran has been very hostile toward Washington.

At the same time, Trump stressed he was still willing to have talks with Iran “when they’re ready.”

On Sunday, Trump warned Iran on Twitter not to threaten his country.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” he wrote.

Later, in an interview with Fox News, Trump vowed not to let Iran get nuclear weapons, though he reiterated his reluctance to go to war.

"I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons," he told Fox News host Steve Hilton in an interview.

While Trump continued opposing military intervention, he indicated Iranian nuclear development would constitute an urgent exception.

"I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons -- you just can’t let that happen," he said.

Tensions between the US and Iran have intensified in the past week, after the US military deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Middle East. US officials said the move was made to counter “clear indications” of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.

Last week, Trump warned that Iran would “suffer greatly” if it targeted US interests.

“We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it will be a very bad mistake. If they do anything they will suffer greatly,” he told reporters.

Previously, Trump urged Iran’s leaders to talk with him about giving up their nuclear program but also made clear he could not rule out a military confrontation with the Islamic Republic.

Iran rejected Trump’s overture, with Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi saying, “The solution does not lie in the mediations or the phone call and the US has our phone numbers too.”