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  • Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami at the 7th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow, Russia, April 4, 2018.

    Iranian Defense Minister Amir Hatami at the 7th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow, Russia, April 4, 2018. | Photo: EFE

Published 21 June 2019

Iranian defense minister says Trump is creating 'Iranophobia' around world to justify U.S. attacks on the country. EU and U.S. politicians want diplomacy to calm regional tensions.

Iran's Defense Minister General Amir Hatami denounced Friday United States President Donald Trump's provocations over Hormozgan, referring to a drone attack attempted Thursday night by the U.S. military, and accused the head of state of creating "Iranophobia" throughout the world in order to justify such aggressions. 

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Trump later tweeted he called off a missle attack on Iran after the drone was shot down.

"There are very complicated and suspicious conditions in the region. ... It seems that all this is part of a general policy to promote iranophobia and to create a consensus against the Islamic Republic," stated Iranian Minister Hatami.

The U.S. military launched a RQ-4 Global Hawk drone over Iran's Hormozgan Province's airspace June 20. As a response, Iran shot down the drone with a missle. The administration approved strikes on a handful of Iranian targets for Friday morning, but did not happen, according to The New York Times. 

During a press conference, Minister Hatami also said Saudi Arabia contribute to the international psychological and media war on Iran, siding with the U.S. "Without a doubt ... unfortunately, the Saudis blindly side with the U.S., even when that affects their own interests."

At a meeting with U.S. representatives Friday, Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman confirmed said his country supports "maximum pressure" on Iran.

Thursday night's drone incident opened a new chapter in U.S. policy against Iran, which already included increased economic sanctions and Trump pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal over a year ago.​​​​​​​

The Trump administration also immediately blamed Iran, without evidence, for the explosions on two oil tankers in the Oman Sea last week.

The geopolitical tensions prompted by the Trump administration have increased the concerns that the international community has regarding the economic and political consequences of a war in the Persian Gulf.​​​​​​​

After an European Union (EU) summit in Brussels Friday, European Council (EC)​ President​​​​​​ Donald Tusk confessed the EU is concerned about what is happening in that region, but was against community leaders issuing a joint statement on the subject, saying "sometimes it is better not to intervene."​​​​​​​

Nevertheless, French President Emmanuel Macron said frictions between the U.S. and Iran must be avoided.

"Everything possible must be done so that there is no escalation of tensions," Macron told journalists during the summit. German Chancellor Angela Merkel also defied Tusk saying that a diplomatic solution to the scenario is necessary.

"Of course, we are concerned about the situation and we are banking on diplomatic negotiations, on a political solution, to a very tense situation," said Merkel.​​​​​​​

President Trump says he called off the attack on Iran planned to happen before 2:00 a.m. Friday.​ A senior  U.S. official says aircraft and ships began to prepare to fire, but the commander in chief changed his mind and suspended the order on the grounds that the response would be disproportionate, although his threatening attitude remained over tweets.

"I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting and more added last night. Iran can NEVER have nuclear weapons, not against the U.S. and not against the WORLD!," he tweeted Friday morning.​​​​​​​

U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar addressed President Trump directly over Twitter and asked him to avoid military action against Iran because, "war is hell" and will only "weaken" the U.S.

"Sending teenagers to die, or return with lifelong wounds seen and unseen, does not make you a bigger person. It makes you smaller. Risking a regional or even global armed conflict does not strengthen our country. It weakens us," she tweeted, recalling her own first hand experience as a Somalian refugee who fled to the U.S.

She is calling for U.S. residents to call their representatives to ensure the U.S. doesn't create a war with Iran. "I urge the American people to make your voice heard. ... Call your member of Congress. Let all our leaders know that a war with Iran would be a catastrophe. #NoWarOnIran," she tweeted Friday.

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