Iran warns US attack will imperil its interests across Mideast

TEHRAN: Tehran warned Washington on Saturday that any attack would see US interests across the Middle East go up in flames after President Donald Trump said he called off a strike at the 11th hour.

The aborted military action was to have been in response to Iran’s downing of a US reconnaissance drone, which has seen tensions between the two countries soar after a series of attacks on commercial vessels the US has blamed on Iran.

“Firing one bullet towards Iran will set fire to the interests of America and its allies” in the region, armed forces general staff spokesman Brig Gen Abolfazl Shekarchi told the Tasnim news agency.

“If the enemy— especially America and its allies in the region — make the military mistake of shooting the powder keg on which America’s interests lie, the region will be set on fire,” Shekarchi warned.

Following his comments, Iran said it had executed a man convicted of spying for the US.

“The execution sentence was carried out for Jalal Haji Zavar, a contractor for the defence ministry’s aerospace organisation who spied for the CIA and the American government,” semi-official ISNA news agency reported, quoting the Iranian military.

More than a year after Trump unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 multilateral nuclear accord with Tehran, the US president said on Saturday that Iran’s prospects would improve if it renounced nuclear weapons.

“When they agree to that, they’re going to have a wealthy country. They’re going to be so happy, and I’m going to be their best friend. I hope that happens,” he told reporters outside the White House.

Iran has denied seeking a nuclear weapon and says its programme is for civilian purposes.

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