A top Iranian general has warned the U.S. that his forces are prepared for any potential military action as President Donald Trump threatens to escalate his campaign against Tehran.

Major General Iranian Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, chief of staff for Iran’s armed forces, made the remarks to parliament Wednesday as the country braced for further U.S. sanctions. The Trump administration has accused Iran of destabilizing the Middle East through support for foreign militias and developing ballistic missile technology, but Iranian officials have emphasized their commitment to a 2015 nuclear deal that the U.S. withdrew from earlier this month despite international pleas to remain.

“America is a disloyal, atrocious, criminal, isolated, angry enemy with disloyal, corrupt leaders whose salaries are paid by the Zionists and the MKO [People’s Mujahedin of Iran] terrorist group,” Bagheri said, according to the official Iranian National News Agency.

“This is while Iran as a big nation is faithful to its promises and remains committed to the international laws,” Bagheri said. He added, “Today Iran has reached its peak of power” and would not wait for permission to pursue its domestic and regional interests.

Trump’s May 8 exit from the multilateral nuclear agreement, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has triggered further regional instability. Shortly after Trump’s announcement, Israeli jets struck suspected Iranian military sites in Syria, followed by a rocket attack targeting Israeli forces in the occupied Golan Heights. Israel responded with the largest wave of airstrikes against Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

The White House has defended Israel, which is widely believed to be behind a years-long campaign of airstrikes against Iranian and pro-Iran positions in Syria. Countries such as Russia and China, which have joined Iran in backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against rebels and jihadis, have urged both sides to show restraint.

Source » newsweek