'Iran will not wage war' says country's president

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By Reuters  with NBC News World News
Image: President Hassan Rouhani heads a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran
President Hassan Rouhani heads a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, on May 8, 2019.   -   Copyright  Iranian Presidency Office via AP

GENEVA — Iran will not wage war against any nation, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, a day after the United Statesannounced the deployment of more troops to the Middle East amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington.

Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks on two oil tankers at the entrance to the Gulf on Thursday, which Washington has blamed on Tehran.

"Iran will not wage war against any nation," Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state TV. "Those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience."

He added, "Despite all of the Americans' efforts in the region and their desire to cut off our ties with all of the world and their desire to keep Iran secluded, they have been unsuccessful."

Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan announced on Monday the deployment of about 1,000 more troops to the Middle East for what he said were defensive purposes citing concerns about a threat from Iran.