World War 3: US-Iran tensions soar as Tehran warns of ‘firm’ reaction to Trump’s plot

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman threatened that its reaction would be “proportionate” and “firm” after the US moved to take a harder stance against the Islamic Republic. Abbas Mousavi said: “Iran is not seeking to exit the 2015 nuclear deal with six powers. “America’s move is illegitimate and our reaction will be proportionate.”

His warning comes after the US said on Thursday it was “hopeful” the UN Security Council would extend the arms embargo on Iran before it expires in October.

President Donald Trump’s administration has been taking a harder line with the United Nations over its desire to extend and strengthen the embargo on Iran.

Washington has threatened to trigger a return of all UN sanctions against Iran as leverage to get backing from the 15-member Security Council on extending the UN arms embargo on Tehran.

Mr Mousavi added: “The United States is not a member of the nuclear deal anymore.

“Iran’s reaction to America’s illegal measures will be firm.”

Mr Trump withdrew his nation from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that have crippled its economy.

The US President has since imposed economic and trade sanctions on Iran, targeting its lucrative oil, financial and shipping sectors.

The measures are part of a wider effort from Mr Trump to curb Iran’s missile and nuclear programmes while destroying its influence in the Middle East, particularly its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.

Under the deal, Iran agreed to halt its sensitive nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief.

Iran, which denies its nuclear programme is aimed at building a bomb, has gradually rolled back its commitments under the accord since the US quit.

It argues that Washington’s actions justify such actions.

It comes after Iran’s supreme leader refused Mr Trump’s offer for help with its outbreak of coronavirus, despite having the highest amount of cases in the Middle East.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei branded the US’ offer to help with their coronavirus outbreak as “strange.”

He then described US leaders as “charlatans and liars” in a televised address to the Islamic Republic.

Iran is the most afflicted country in the Middle East with the outbreak of the lethal disease.

Khameni said: “Several times Americans have offered to help us to fight the pandemic. That is strange because you face shortages in America.”

He also referenced a conspiracy theory that America is, “accused of creating this virus.”

“I do not know whether it is true. But when there is such an allegation, can a wise man trust you and accept your help offer?

“You could be giving medicines to Iran that spread the virus or cause it to remain permanently.”

It comes after Mr Trump said that the US was ready and willing to help other countries with their handling of coronavirus.

This included North Korea, Iran and other countries.

He said: “If they need help, we’ll give them help, we are open for helping other countries.”

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