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  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani | Photo: Reuters

Published 25 June 2019

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Washington to not mistake Tehran’s “strategic patience” for fear.

Iran is not interested in beginning a war with the United States, the nation’s president, Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday during a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reports.

RELATED: New Sanctions Mean 'Permanent Closure of Path to Diplomacy': Iran

“If the Americans want to violate the waters or airspace of Iran again, Iran’s armed forces have a duty to confront them and they will have a decisive clash,” Rouhani said, referring to last week’s incident with a U.S. drone entering Iranian territory.

Rouhani also told Macron that Iran will not renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, ISNA reported.

During a live broadcast earlier that day, the Iranian president also denounced the new line of sanctions imposed by the U.S. against Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as "outrageous and idiotic."

He warned that Trump should be careful not to mistake Tehran’s “strategic patience” for fear.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin outlined the details of the new sanctions on Monday at a press conference.

Mnuchin said the new measures will be in addition to current economic sanctions, boasting, “We’ve literally locked up tens and tens of billions of dollars.”

The new sanctions will deny the leader's office access to international financing and "assets." They also announced sanctions on eight senior commanders of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard, which Mnuchin claims are responsible for (unspecified) "recent activities."

Tensions have been growing between the two countries ever since the Trump administration unilaterally pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA), relations have deteriorated even further in the past week, as Iran downed a U.S. military drone that entered Iranian airspace, and a round of cyber attacks aimed at disabling Iran’s rocket missile systems were intercepted.

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