Tehran warns Washington attack would imperil interests across Mideast

Vastavam web: Tehran warned Washington Saturday that any attack would see its interests across the Middle East go up in flames after US President Donald Trump said he called off a strike at the 11th hour. The aborted US military action was to have been in response to Iran’s downing of a US reconnaissance drone, which has seen tensions between the two countries soar after a series of attacks on oil tankers the US has blamed on Iran.

“Firing one bullet towards Iran will set fire to the interests of America and its allies” in the region, armed forces general staff spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi told the Tasnim news agency.

“If the enemy — especially America and its allies in the region — make the military mistake of shooting the powder keg on which America’s interests lie, the region will be set on fire,” Shekarchi warned.

President Donald Trump said Friday that the United States was “cocked & loaded” to strike Iran but pulled back at the last minute as it would not have been a “proportionate” response to Tehran’s shooting down of an unmanned drone.

Under pressure to respond to the high-stakes incident near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Trump said the US was prepared to hit “3 different sites” Thursday night but that he scrapped the strikes “10 minutes” before they were to have been launched.

“I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General,” the president tweeted, saying he concluded it would not have been “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”

He added that he did not want war with Iran, but if it came to pass, there would be “obliteration like you’ve never seen before.” The US president had struck a combative tone in initial comments Thursday about the downing of the Global Hawk surveillance aircraft, but as the pre-dawn incident whipped up fears of open conflict, Trump moved to dial back tensions.