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Rouhani Warns Johnson Of Iran's Harsh Response If US 'Makes Another Mistake'

Iranian President Hassan Rohani (R) meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of UNGA in New York, September 24, 2019. File Photo
Iranian President Hassan Rohani (R) meets with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of UNGA in New York, September 24, 2019. File Photo

The Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani has warned the United States that it would risk a "very dangerous response" if it makes "another mistake."

Speaking with the U.K. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, on the phone on Thursday, Rouhani described the Iranian missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq as "self-defense" stipulated in Article 51 of the United Nation's charter.

Rouhani was referring to the same Article that U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Kelly Craft, had earlier used to explain the reason behind its decision to kill the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Qassem Soleimani.

Retaliating to the killing of Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike outside Baghdad international airport last week, Iran fired missiles at bases housing U.S. forces in Iraq. The U.S. branded Soleimani as a "terrorist" who had planned attacks against U.S. targets in the region.

"If the U.S. makes another mistake, it will receive a hazardous response," Rouhani cautioned during his conversation with the U.K. Prime Minister, Boris Johnson. He also denounced comments made by several British officials endorsing the killing of Soleimani.

The U.K. authorities should "reconsider their instance," Rouhani told Johnson, insisting, "Undoubtedly, without martyr Soleimani's efforts, you wouldn't have calm in London today."

Once again, Rouhani blamed Washington's withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, as the leading cause of instability in the Middle East.

Accusing the Americans and the White House of not understanding the Middle East, Rouhani claimed that killing Soleimani has led to the "uprising" of the regional nations, and "unified" them.

For his part, Johnson expressed sympathy with Iran over a series of tragic incidents that have occurred in recent days, and voiced concern about escalating insecurity in the region as well as the safety of British troops in the region, asking all parties to exercise self-restraint, the IRGC-run Tasnim news agency reported.

Immediately after the Iranian missile attacks, Trump said January 8 the United States "will immediately impose additional punishing economic sanctions on the Iranian regime" in response to what he called "Iranian aggression." He offered no specifics.

However, when asked about the "additional sanctions", President Trump said on Thursday, the United States had already imposed additional sanctions on Iran.

"It's already been done; we've increased them," Trump said at a White House event, without elaboration." They were very severe, but now it's increased substantially. I just approved it a little while ago with the Treasury," he reiterated, adding the White House would soon make an announcement.