Iranian president’s remarks come after UK, France and Germany challenged Tehran over breaking limits of nuclear deal
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has told foreign powers to withdraw their forces from the Middle East, warning that they “may be in danger” if they remain in the region.
“Today, the American soldier is in danger, tomorrow the European soldier could be in danger,” Hassan Rouhani said in televised remarks on Wednesday, without elaborating.
The comments came a day after the United Kingdom, France and Germany challenged Tehran over breaking limits of a major nuclear deal signed in 2015 between Iran and six world powers.
The European nations announced on Tuesday that they triggered the dispute mechanism provided for in the landmark agreement in order to force Tehran to honour its commitments under the accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), from which US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew in 2018.
Rouhani‘s comments mark the first time he has threatened European countries amid heightened tensions with the US.
Friction in the region escalated in recent months after a series of attacks in the Gulf region that Washington blamed on Iran and its proxies, over Iranian denials. Fears of an all-out war emerged earlier in January after a US air strike killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, prompting retaliatory Iranian missile strikes against US targets in Iraq.