Israel and US will be targeted if Washington attacks — Iran cleric

Ahmad Khatami told worshippers attending Eid prayers in Tehran that President Donald Trump’s offer of talks with Iranian leaders was unacceptable. (Reuters)
Updated 22 August 2018
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Israel and US will be targeted if Washington attacks — Iran cleric

  • ‘Americans say you should accept what we say in the talks. So, this is not negotiation, but dictatorship’
  • ‘The price of a war with Iran is very high for America’

LONDON: A senior Iranian cleric warned Washington on Wednesday that if it attacked Iran, the United States and allied Israel would be targeted, as a war of words escalated after the reimposition of the US sanctions on Iran.
Ahmad Khatami also told worshippers attending Eid prayers in Tehran that President Donald Trump’s offer of talks with Iranian leaders was unacceptable, as the US leader wanted Tehran to concede on its missile program and regional influence.
“Americans say you should accept what we say in the talks. So, this is not negotiation, but dictatorship. The Islamic Republic and the Iranian nation would stand up against dictatorship,” Khatami was quoted as saying by Mizan news agency.
“The price of a war with Iran is very high for America. They know if they harm this country and this state in the slightest way, the United States and its main ally in the region, the Zionist regime (of Israel) would be targeted,” Khatami said.
Khatami did not elaborate which forces would carry out such attacks, but Iran has said it could target Israeli cities with its missiles if it is threatened. Iran also has proxies in the region, including Lebanon’s Hezbollah group.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that the Islamic Republic’s military prowess was what deterred Washington from attacking it, and vowed to boost Iran’s military might.
The Trump administration slapped sanctions back on Iran this month after withdrawing from the 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran, saying it was too soft on Tehran and would not stop it developing a nuclear bomb.
Washington imposed new sanctions in August, targeting Iran’s car industry, trade in gold and other precious metals, and purchases of US dollars. Trump has said the United States will issue another round of tougher sanctions in November that will target Iran’s oil sales and banking sector.
Trump’s national security adviser told Reuters on Wednesday that the US president wanted maximum pressure on Iran.
“There should not be any doubt that the United States wants this resolved peacefully, but we are fully prepared for any contingency that Iran creates,” John Bolton said.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has rejected Trump’s offer of unconditional talks on a new nuclear deal, prompting Trump to tell Reuters in an interview on Monday: “If they want to meet, that’s fine, and if they don’t want to meet, I couldn’t care less.”


Yemeni troops stop Houthi advances, inflict further casualties

Updated 57 min 59 sec ago
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Yemeni troops stop Houthi advances, inflict further casualties

  • The Yemeni army halted Houthi advances in a strategic district in Taiz
  • The army also liberated an important range of mountains in Saada

DUBAI: Eight Houthis were killed Tuesday during clashes with the Yemeni national forces in Taiz, Saudi Press Agency reported.

The militants were killed while trying to infiltrate sites in Tabab, a strategic route into Taiz, southwestern Yemen, the Yemeni military website 26 September News reported.

But the Houthi’s advance was halted by the army, which killed eight of the militia, the source added.

Al-Shaqb front is the main route to Sabr Al-Mawadem district in Taiz province.

Meanwhile members of the army took control of the route connecting the northern city of Saada with Kitaf and Albuqa districts after heavy clashes with Houthis, SPA reported.

The army took full control of the strategic mountain range in Kitaf and advanced towards Saada, inflicting heavy casualties on the Houthis.

Army units found and destroyed a large cache of weapons, 26 September News added.