Rouhani says Iran-US tensions are at ‘a maximum’

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. (Reuters pic)

LONDON: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that tensions between Tehran and Washington were at “a maximum” rarely seen in the decades-long contentious relations of the two countries.

Animosity between Washington and Tehran – bitter foes since Iran’s 1979 revolution – has intensified since May when US President Donald Trump withdrew from an international nuclear deal with Tehran and reimposed sanctions lifted under the accord.

“The struggle between Iran and America is currently at a maximum. America has employed all its power against us,” Rouhani was quoted as saying in a cabinet meeting by the state broadcaster IRIB.

Rouhani said ties have rarely been as tense before.

He also said that a conference on the Middle East and Iran organised by the United States in Polish capital Warsaw last week not achieved its goals.

Senior officials from 60 nations gathered in Warsaw where the United States hoped to ratchet up pressure against Iran, but foreign ministers from major European powers still committed to the nuclear deal did not attend.

“This is another failure of the US regional policies,” Rouhani said.

Center released in January found his approval rating at 64%, the lowest since before Moscow’s annexation of Crimea five years ago.