Hassan Rouhani: “My people will never give up the fight for their independence”.

Hassan Rouhani

Iran in a statement on Thursday issued by President Hassan Rouhani said “Iran will not surrender to US pressure and will never abandon its goals even if it is attacked”.

Prior to the statement, Iran’s top military chief said the standoff between Tehran and Washington was a “clash of wills”, warning aany enemy “adventurism” would meet a crushing response, the semi official Fars news agency reported.

Tensions aggravate between the two countries after Washington sent more military hardware to the Middle East in a show of force against what US officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interest in the region.

Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, Major-General Mohammad Baqeri, also pointed to an Iranian battle victory in the war with Iraq, and said that outcome should be a message that Iran will have a “hard, crushing and obliterating response” for any enemy.

“The confrontation and face-off of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the malicious government of America is the arena for a clash of wills,” Baqeri said.

The war of words between the two rivals shows no signs of abating.

On Sunday, Trump tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!”

Acting US defence chief Patrick Shanahan on Thursday confirmed the Pentagon was considering sending additional American troops to the Middle East as one of the ways to bolster protection for US forces there amid the rising tensions with Iran.

“What we’re looking at is: Are there things that we can do to enhance force protection in the Middle East?” Shanahan said. “It may involve sending additional troops.”

But Shanahan denied news reports that plans call for the deployment of as many as 10,000 more American soldiers to the region.