Iran candidate tells AP: US attack risks ‘full-fledged war’
TEHRAN: An adviser to Iran’s supreme leader who is a possible 2021 presidential candidate is warning that any American attack on the Islamic Republic could set off a “full-fledged war” in the Mideast in the waning days of the Trump administration.
Speaking to The Associated Press, Hossein Dehghan struck a hard-line tone familiar to those in Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, a force he long served in before becoming a defense minister under President Hassan Rouhani.
“We don’t welcome a crisis. We don’t welcome war. We are not after starting a war,” Dehghan said Wednesday. “But we are not after negotiations for the sake of negotiations either.”
Dehghan, 63, described himself as a “nationalist” with “no conventional political tendency” during an interview in his wood-paneled office in downtown Tehran. He’s one of many likely to register to run in the June 18 election as Rouhani is term-limited from running again. Others likely include a young technocrat with ties to Iranian intelligence and former hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. - AP