İrem GÖL -TDO- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Tehran was closely following the activities of the United States, but would never initiate a conflict in the region. Rouhani’s comments were made during a telephone call to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had instructed the US Navy to fire on any Iranian ships that harass US vessels at sea. Iranian officials accused Trump of “bullying” and said he should focus on caring for US service members infected coronavirus instead of making threats.
Tensions between Iran and the US increased earlier this year after the US killed Qassem Soleimani, head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in an airstrike in Iraq. The assassination brought the two countries to the brink of war. Iran retaliated on January 8 with a rocket attack on Iraq’s Ain al-Assad base where US forces were stationed. No US troops were killed or faced immediate bodily injury, but more than 100 were later diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries.