Iran says does not expect a war with US

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On May 8 President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would suspend the sale of surplus enriched uranium and heavy water and gave European powers, Russia, and China 60 days to buck USA pressure and ensure that Iran receives the financial normalization the deal provides.

"In the war we didn't have any banking, sales of oil and import-export problems and the only sanctions against us were arms embargoes", the Tehran member of parliament said, during what was billed as an informal meeting with members of different political groups and parties.

"The pressures by enemies is a war unprecedented in the history of our revolution... but I do not despair and have great hope for the future and believe that we can move past these hard conditions provided that we are united".

Iran has been under economic and political pressure since President Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the deal a year ago.

The US military's loud statements about the motive behind deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group to the Arabian Gulf indicate Washington's attempt at sending a strong signal to Tehran and avoiding a war.

Iranian navy commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi said on Sunday that American forces must exit, according to ISNA. "We will hit them in the head if they move".

However, that projection preceded another move by the U.S. to tighten sanctions: the end to exemptions enjoyed by China, India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, all five of which have been buying Iranian oil.

Falahatpisheh added the United States officials would have to propose "much more serious" negotiations with Iran in the future.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Richard Moore, a visiting British Foreign Office official, that "Europe should not underestimate Iran's determination to scale back its commitments (under the 2015 deal) phase-by-phase", according to the state news agency IRNA.

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The following day, the European Union urged Iran to respect the worldwide agreement curbing the Islamic Republic's nuclear ambitions, and added that the bloc aims to continue trading with the country despite USA sanctions. Iran dismissed the claim as nonsense.

While Iran has always denied its nuclear program had a military component, its uranium enrichment activities had been controversial because Western powers said it could potentially be used in bombmaking, so the threat to abandon limits drew another round of USA sanctions, this time on Iranian metals.

Trump on Thursday urged Iran's leadership to sit down and talk with him about giving up Tehran's nuclear program and said he could not rule out a military confrontation given the heightened tensions between the two countries.

As the U.S conducts a "maximum pressure" campaign against Tehran, Trump on Wednesday announced new measures targeting Iranian metal exports.

Speaking to CNBC in an interview to be broadcast on Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. deployments came in response to intelligence about potential Iranian attacks and aimed both to deter them and to be able to respond if necessary.

"The industrial metal sectors now subject to USA sanctions-iron and steel, aluminum, and copper-generated $5.5 billion of exports, or 94 percent of the total for industrial metals", according to FDD's analysis of Iran's economy.

The United States is not seeking war with Iran, US national security adviser John Bolton said May 5 in a written statement. "This is a kleptocratic regime that has stolen billions of dollars and wastes the Iranian people's own money on these proxy wars all across the world".

Pompeo's remarks were echoed by those of the recently appointed chief of the US Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for US military operations in the Middle East, Marine General Frank McKenzie, who delivered an inflammatory address to the right-wing, pro-Zionist think tank, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. The stated USA aim is to reduce Iranian oil exports to "zero".

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