Hossein Salami
Hossein SalamiReuters

The commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, said on Tuesday that Iran’s “absolute power” in its region has sapped the capacity of the United States to wage war against it.

Salami, who was quoted by Reuters, was speaking a day after US President Donald Trump said he was not seeking regime change in Iran following moves to beef up US forces in the Middle East, and that a new deal on Iran’s nuclear program was possible.

“We have been able to...empty the enemy’s capacity for war. You see the decline and crash of the enemies’ speech,” the commander said, apparently alluding to Trump’s remarks during a visit to Japan.

“Today, Iran is an absolute power of the region and because of this it is not afraid of the enemy’s threats. Today, America has been defeated in its political philosophy,” he stated.

Tensions have increased between the US and Iran in recent weeks after Washington sent more military forces to the Middle East in a show of force against what US officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests in the region.

Trump announced on Friday that the US will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops.

However, the US President appeared to soften his tone toward Iran while in Japan, saying he believed it wanted to make a deal and crediting heavy US economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

“We aren’t looking for regime change - I just want to make that clear. We are looking for no nuclear weapons,” he said.

Salami earlier this month said that Iran is not looking for war, but it is fully prepared to defend itself.

“The enemies of Iran don't hunt for a war, either. But there is a difference between them and us: they are afraid of war; their limit is where their life is in danger, which makes them easy to be defeated,” he claimed.

Those comments came just days after Salami had warned that Iran was “on the cusp of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy”.