TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- The United States and its supporters do not dare attack Iran because of its "spirit of resistance”, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on Wednesday.
Tensions have spiked between Iran and the United States after Washington sent more military forces to the Middle East, including an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and Patriot missiles.
"If the criminal America and its Western and regional allies don’t dare carry out a face-to-face military attack against our country it is because of the spirit of resistance and sacrifice of the people and youth,” Major General Gholamali Rashid said.
In a Twitter message addressed to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the U.S. military deployment to the region was a deliberate provocation.
"You @SecPompeo do not bring warships to our region and call it deterrence. That’s called provocation. It compels Iran to illustrate its own deterrence, which you call provocation. You see the cycle?” the adviser, Hesameddin Ashena, tweeted in English.
On Sunday, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted: "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”
Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif warned that the United States is "playing a very, very dangerous game” by beefing up its military presence in the region.
In an exclusive interview with the CNN broadcast on Tuesday, Zarif criticized the U.S. for sending military reinforcements to the Middle East.
"Having all these military assets in a small waterway is in and of itself prone to accident, particularly when you have people who are interested in accidents. So extreme prudence is required and the United States is playing a very, very dangerous game,” the Iranian foreign minister said.
Zarif warned that there "will be painful consequences if there is an escalation for everybody.”
Elsewhere in his interview, Zarif said Iran would never negotiate with President Trump unless Washington shows "respect” to Tehran by honoring its commitments under the JCPOA.
"Iran never negotiates with coercion. You cannot threaten any Iranian and expect them to engage. The way to do it is through respect, not through threats.”