Iran vows to defeat 'American-Zionist alliance'

Tehran (AFP) –


Defence Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami vowed on Wednesday that Iran will force the "bitter taste of defeat" onto the United States and Israel, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.

Hatami was speaking to Revolutionary Guards veterans in Tehran with tensions riding high a year after President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal.

The relations between the two countries have deteriorated even further in recent weeks as the Trump administration ratchets up pressure on Iran over alleged threats from the Islamic republic.

"The proud nation of Islamic Iran will once again... pass this sensitive period of time with its head held high, and force the bitter taste of defeat onto the American-Zionist alliance," Hatami said, referring to the US and its ally Israel.

The Iranian general said "the Americans have not held back from any plot and machination against our country" since the Islamic revolution more than 40 years ago.

Washington said on Saturday that in response to the alleged threats from Iran it was deploying an amphibious assault ship and a Patriot missile battery to bolster an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers already sent to the region.

Calling the showdown a test of resolve, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that "there is not going to be any war" with the United States.

"Neither we nor them seek war. They know it will not be in their interest," he said.

Tehran announced on May 8 that it would stop respecting some of the curbs on its nuclear activities imposed under the landmark 2015 deal with world powers.

The announcement came exactly a year after the US withdrew from the deal, with further measures threatened if the agreement's other signatories fail to mitigate the impact of renewed American sanctions within 60 days.

The sweeping sanctions have dealt a severe blow to the Iranian economy.