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Rouhani Says Iran-U.S. Tensions At 'A Maximum'

Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani

Tensions between Tehran and Washington are at "a maximum" rarely seen in the decades-long antagonistic relations between the two countries, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on February 20.

Animosity between the United States and Tehran -- bitter foes since Iran’s 1979 revolution -- has escalated since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew in May from a landmark 2015 international nuclear agreement with Tehran and re-imposed sanctions lifted under the deal.

Trump said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran's development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.

"The struggle between Iran and America is currently at a maximum. America has employed all its power against us," state broadcaster IRIB quoted Rouhani as saying during a cabinet meeting.

Rouhani also said that a conference on the Middle East focusing on Iran organized by the United States in Polish capital Warsaw last week did not achieve its goals.

Senior officials from 60 nations gathered at the conference, where U.S. Vice President Mike Pence called on Washington's European allies to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear deal, saying that Iran is the “greatest threat to peace and security” in the Middle East.

However, foreign ministers from major European powers still committed to the 2015 nuclear deal did not attend the Warsaw conference, and neither did Russia and China, who are also signatories of the agreement under which Tehran pledged to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Rouhani claimed that attendance at conference the reflected "another failure of...U.S. regional policies."

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP