A deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) said even short-range Iranian missiles could reach US warships in the Gulf, adding Washington could not afford a new war.

The comments added to days of sabre-rattling between Tehran and Washington, which has tightened sanctions and built up its military presence in the region alleging threats from Iran to its troops and interests.

“Even our short-range missiles can easily reach (US) warships in the Gulf,” Mohammad Saleh Jokar, the Guard’s deputy chief in charge of parliamentary affairs, was quoted by Fars news agency as saying.

“America cannot afford the costs of a new war, and the country is in a bad situation in terms of manpower and social conditions,” he added.

Jokar further warned that a conflict would endanger the world’s energy supply. He said: “If a war happens, the world will suffer.”

Washington has already warned shipping companies that “Iran or its proxies” could be targeting maritime traffic in the Gulf. The US has deployed the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln and B-52 bombers to the region to counter the threat.

Separately, a senior Iranian military official accused US President Donald Trump of dishonesty, saying Washington was calling for talks while “holding a gun” at Tehran, Mehr reported.

Trump has said publicly he wants to pursue a diplomatic route after withdrawing from the 2015 deal and moving to cut off all Iranian oil exports this month.

“The actions of American leaders in exerting pressure and launching sanctions … while speaking of talks, is like holding a gun at someone and asking for friendship and negotiations,” said Rasoul Sanai-Rad, a political deputy of the armed forces command, Mehr reported.

“The behavior of American leaders is a political game which consists of threats and pressure while showing a willingness to negotiate in order to present a peaceful image of themselves and fool public opinion,” Sanai-Rad said.

Source » aawsat