DUBAI: Iran is ready to work with all of its neighbors to secure peace in the Middle East in the face of US and Israeli aggression, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday.
But pressure is building on Tehran after President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of a 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and re-imposed sanctions. Saudi Arabia welcomed the move.
“Iran is ready to work with regional states to preserve security in the Middle East,” Rouhani said in a public speech in the southern Hormozgan province, broadcast live on state TV. “We want to establish brotherly ties with all countries of the region ... Iran has never started any aggression in the region.”
“Those regional states that believe Israel and America can establish security are wrong. We, the Muslims, should ensure the regional security,” Rouhani said, to chants of “Death to America,” and “Death to Israel.”
Sunni group Jaish Al-Adl (Army of Justice), which says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for the ethnic minority Baluchis, claimed responsibility for the attack that killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards Corps.
The Revolutionary Guards have threatened Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan with retaliation.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Pakistan deny backing the militants. Iran’s foreign ministry on Sunday summoned Pakistan’s ambassador to protest about Wednesday’s attack.