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Iran's president warns Trump of 'mother of all wars' if provoked

By Allen Cone
Iran's president warns Trump of 'mother of all wars' if provoked
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) appears at a ceremony Sunday in Tehran. In a televised speech, he warned President Donald Trump that threatening to block oil exports will lead to the "mother of all wars." Photo courtesy of Iran presidential office/EPA

July 22 (UPI) -- Iran president on Sunday warned President Donald Trump that threatening to block oil exports will lead to the "mother of all wars."

"Mr Trump! We are the honest men who have throughout history guaranteed the safety of this region's waterways," Hassan Rouhani told Trump in a televised speech. "Do not play with the lion's tail, it will bring regret."

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Trump is reimposing sanctions on Iran after deciding to pull out of the 2015 international deal to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons. With the sanctions, Iran's oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year, Sky News reported.

Originally Trump demanded all other countries to stop buying its crude by November but now he says the United States may grant waivers to some allies heavily particularly reliant on Iranian supplies.

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"America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars," Rouhani said. "You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran's security and interests."

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If the United States stops exports, Iran would halt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, Esmail Kowsari, deputy commander of the Sarollah Revolutionary Guards base in Tehran, said earlier this month.

Iran and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, ship much of their crude through the Strait of Hormuz. Tankers carry about 30 percent of all seaborne-traded crude oil and other liquids.

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Rouhani suggested that Iran has alternatives to shipping crude through Hormuz.

"No one who really understands politics would say they will block Iran's oil exports, and we have many straits, the Strait of Hormuz is just one of those," Rouhani said.

Rouhani said he wants improved relations with Saudi Arabia but the kingdom needs "change its actions, let go of obstinacy and be willing to have relations."

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