Britain warns Iran: Don't underestimate the US

British Foreign Secretary warns Iran that if American interests are attacked, Washington will retaliate.

Ben Ariel ,

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt on Monday warned Iran not to underestimate the resolve of the US, warning that if American interests were attacked then Washington would retaliate.

"I would say to the Iranians: Do not underestimate the resolve on the US side," Hunt told reporters on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, according to The Telegraph.

"They don't want a war with Iran. But if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate. And that is something that the Iranians needs to think about very, very carefully," he added.

Hunt’s comment come amid rising tensions between Tehran and the US.

Last week, 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.

Trump subsequently 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.

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.

On Monday, he again warned that Iran would be met with “great force” if it attempted anything against US interests in the Middle East, but also stressed he was still willing to have talks with Iran “when they’re ready.”

The tensions between the US and Iran began escalating when Trump withdrew last May from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, and later imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran, the latest of which went into effect in November of 2018.

The European signatories to the 2015 deal did not agree with Trump’s decision to leave the agreement and vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

Hunt added on Monday that the UK has had discussions with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over the rising tensions. He said he hoped Iran starts to "pull back from the destabilizing activities" it conducts in the region.

"We want the situation to de-escalate because this is a part of the world where things can get triggered accidentally," he said, according to The Telegraph.