United States National Security Advisor John Bolton on Sunday warned Iran not to misinterpret President Donald Trump’s last-minute cancellation of the planned airstrikes on the country as a sign of weakness. His comments come after Trump on Friday said that he had called off three airstrikes on Iran as 150 people would die.
“Neither Iran nor any other hostile actor should mistake US prudence and discretion for weakness,” AFP quoted Bolton as saying. “Our military is rebuilt new and ready to go.”
Bolton further added that the “current circumstances in the region make our conversations even more timely”. He made the comments before a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
On Friday, Trump had said that the American military was planning to retaliate against Iran for shooting down an unmanned United States drone last week, but he changed his mind 10 minutes before the planned airstrikes.
Meawhile, Iranian lawmakers, during a parliament session on Sunday, chanted “Death to America” after a speaker accused the United States of being “the real world terrorist”, Reuters reported. “America is the real terrorist in the world by spreading chaos in countries, giving advanced weapons to terrorist groups, causing insecurity, and still it says ‘Come, let’s negotiate’,” Masoud Pezeshkian, the parliament’s deputy speaker, said during the beginning of the session that was broadcast live on state radio.
The United States military on Thursday reportedly launched cyberattacks against Iranian missile control systems and a spy network. Trump allegedly authorised in secret the United States Cyber Command to conduct a retaliatory cyber attack on Iran, Associated Press reported citing unidentified sources.
Unidentified US officials said that Iranian computer systems that controlled its rocket and missile launchers had been disabled on Thursday. The computers of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were also targeted after Washington blamed Iran for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13.
However, the United States has refuted the allegations. “As a matter of policy and for operational security, we do not discuss cyberspace operations, intelligence or planning,” US Defense Department spokesperson Heather Babb told AFP.
Tension between both the countries renewed last week after Iran shot down an American spy drone over the Strait of Hormuz. While Tehran claimed the drone violated its airspace, the US maintained it was shot down over international waters.
Trump on Saturday said that the country will impose “major additional sanctions” on Iran from Monday, in a bid to prevent the country from obtaining nuclear weapons. Trump’s threat came even as Tehran warned Washington that it will pay a heavy price if it fires a single bullet.