Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has warned that a conflict with Tehran would be the “mother of all wars,” and that shipping vessels transiting Gulf waters, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, might no longer be safe. The comments come after the Islamic Republic reportedly seized a second tanker over the past month in the vital waterway. Tehran has also been accused of perpetrating attacks on six additional vessels, in addition to using its proxy forces to target US assets in Iraq and critical civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia. Tensions in the region have skyrocketed since the Trump Administration – which last year withdrew from the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal – imposed economic sanctions on Iran that effectively prevents it from exporting oil. Rouhani further stressed that the Islamic Republic would not hold talks with Washington until such time that the sanctions are lifted. Earlier this month, it was reported that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif declined an overture to visit the White House and speak directly with President Donald Trump.
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