Reacting to a New York Times report about President Donald Trump's "possible moves" in the region, particularly against Iran, a spokesman for the Islamic Republic government said the likelihood of such actions was "low," but "any action" would face a "crushing response."
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, November 17, Ali Rabiei admitted that the Iranian regime was going through "difficult days" and emphasized that "global developments in the international arena are changing rapidly."
The New York Times reported on Monday, November 16, that in a meeting at the Oval Office last Thursday, President Trump asked several top aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, "whether he had options to take action against Iran's main nuclear site in the coming weeks."
Rabiei also insisted that based on his' "personal opinion," "there might be attempts," but he did not expect "that they would want to bring insecurity to the world and region."
According to the article, senior officials "dissuaded the president, warning that such a strike" could escalate into a regional conflict.
Donald Trump met his top advisors a day after International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors reported that the Islamic Republic's enriched uranium stockpile had risen sharply.
The Trump administration introduced additional sanctions on six companies and four people several days after the U.S. elections.
The new sanctions, related to Tehran's missile program, its assistance to terrorist organizations, and human rights violation in Iran, are designed to make them difficult to be lifted by the next U.S. administration, according to Elliot Abrams the United States Special Representative for Iran.
At his news conference on Tuesday, Ali Rabiei once again denied allegations that Rouhani's administration had come to a standstill, waiting for the U.S. presidential election outcome.
"One should not spare the U.S. from criticism under cover of criticizing the Iranian government," Rabiei noted.