LONDON – The United States is playing a “very dangerous game” as it attempts to “drag Iran into an unnecessary war,” a senior Iranian official said Tuesday.
Hamid Baeidinejad, Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, said the Trump administration made a “serious miscalculation” in deploying an aircraft carrier strike group, B-52 bombers and other military personnel and equipment to the Persian Gulf to counter alleged, unspecified Iranian threats.
Baeidinejad denied that Iran or its “proxies” were behind what Washington described as the “sabotage” of oil tankers in the Gulf belonging to Saudi Arabia, Norway and the United Arab Emirates. Tuesday, Saudi Arabia said drones attacked one of its oil pipelines and other energy infrastructure, an incident that caused global oil price benchmarks to jump.
“We are prepared for any eventuality, this I can tell you,” Baeidinejad said. The United States and Iran have no formal diplomatic channel of communication.
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, said neither country wants a war.
“This is not a military confrontation because no war is to happen,” he said, according to Iran’s state television and a government Twitter account. “We don’t seek a war nor do they. They know a war wouldn’t be beneficial for them.”
Baeidinejad said that from the Iranian perspective, it appears that some of President Donald Trump’s closest advisers, such as national security adviser John Bolton, are “trying to convince” Trump to start a military confrontation that neither country wants and would be “devastating” for Iran, the United States and the region.