President Trump repeatedly criticized Iran and the nuclear deal during his first foreign trip as last year.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Trump about pursuing hardline policies against Tehran, saying “America should know… war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” according to a Reuters report.
Iran has faced increased pressure from the United States in recent months since Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a 2015 Iran nuclear deal.
The Trump administration has threatened to reimpose sanctions on Iran and the looming penalties could further escalate tensions between the U.S. and its European allies who have expressed the desire to keep the terms of the nuclear deal.
With Rouhani’s threat of retaliation against any potential attack against Iran, he also offered a message of peace — expressing a desire to come to agreeable terms with the U.S.
“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
Reuters reports that the Trump administration has used speeches and online media as a means to pressure Iran into ending its nuclear programme.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo previously demanded in a speech that Iran withdraws its forces and support for allies in Syria and Yemen.
Pompeo added that Iran should halt production of long-range missiles, end its uranium enrichment program and agree to unlimited inspections of its nuclear facilities.
Iran’s president also warned Trump against efforts to stop other countries from buying the Gulf nation’s oil exports. Iran ships its oil through the Strait of Hormuz. Other oil-rich nations such as Iraq and Saudi Arabia ship their oil through the Strait.
According to the ISNA news agency, Rouhani argues that Iran has a dominant position in the narrow sea passage and reaffirms its control of the strait.
“Anyone who understands the rudiments of politics doesn’t say ‘we will stop Iran’s oil exports’…we have been the guarantor of the regional waterway’s security throughout history.”
Iran officials have threated to close the Hormuz Strait in the past in relation to any potential attacks.
Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton has in the past advocated bombing and invading Iran to enact regime change.
Mike Pompeo has threatened to impose the ‘strongest sanctions in history’ on Iran in May during his first speech as Secretary of State.
It is unclear whether the European Union can salvage the nuclear deal without the support of the United State, which is taking a hardline approach on the Gulf nation.