TEHRAN — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi stated Friday that Iran will not initiate a war, but will “respond strongly” to any acts of aggression, a day after the U.S. announced plans for attacks on Iranian sites in Iraq and Syria.
The statement comes amid growing speculation over potential U.S. retaliation following the death of three U.S. soldiers in Jordan last Saturday, attributed to an Iranian-backed group.
According to CBS News, U.S. officials have approved multi-day strikes in Iraq and Syria targeting various sites, including Iranian personnel and facilities.
“We will not start any war, but if anyone wants to bully us, they will receive a strong response,” Raisi declared in a televised speech. He referenced past U.S. rhetoric, noting, “Before, when they (the Americans) wanted to talk to us, they said the military option is on the table. Now they say they have no intention of a conflict with Iran.”
Raisi emphasized that Iran’s military presence in the region is not a threat but rather ensures security and trust among regional countries.
The United States, based on assessments by four U.S. officials, believes the drone responsible for killing three soldiers and injuring over 40 others was made in Iran, as reported by Reuters.
Sources indicate that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are withdrawing senior officers from Syria. Iranian advisers are known to support armed groups in both Iraq, where the U.S. maintains around 2,500 troops, and Syria, with a U.S. presence of 900 troops.