Iran: Future US border violations will elicit ‘stronger response’
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Iran: Future US border violations will elicit ‘stronger response’

Parliament speaker says Tehran downing US surveillance drone over the Gulf will deter Washington from additional acts of ‘aggression’

General Amir Ali Hajizadeh (C), Iran's head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division, looks at debris from a downed US drone reportedly recovered within Iran's territorial waters and put on display by the Revolutionary Guard in the capital Tehran on June 21, 2019. (Meghdad Madadi/Tasnim News/AFP)
General Amir Ali Hajizadeh (C), Iran's head of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division, looks at debris from a downed US drone reportedly recovered within Iran's territorial waters and put on display by the Revolutionary Guard in the capital Tehran on June 21, 2019. (Meghdad Madadi/Tasnim News/AFP)

A senior Iranian lawmaker on Thursday warned the United States that any further alleged violations of its borders would illicit a harsh response from the Islamic Republic.

“The downing of their drone was a good experience for them to avoid any aggression against our borders,” parliament speaker Ali Larijani said Thursday, according to the the semiofficial Tasnim news agency.

“Iran’s reaction will be stronger if they repeat their mistake of violating our borders,” he added, according to a Reuters translation.

Tehran and Washington have engaged in an escalating war of words following Iran’s shooting down of a US surveillance drone over the Persian Gulf last week. Tehran claims the sophisticated $100 million unmanned American aircraft was in its airspace, which Washington vehemently denies.

Then-Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani speaks during a press conference in Tehran, Iran, March 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

US President Donald Trump pulled back from plans to retaliate with military strikes on Iranian targets for downing the drone, saying the response — and the collateral damage — would not be “proportionate.”

But on Monday, he slapped a fresh round of tough sanctions on Iran, including on its supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top military chiefs.

The new US measures are the latest against Tehran since Trump last year pulled out of the nuclear accord between Iran and world powers.

On Tuesday, Iran warned that the new US sanctions targeting Khamenei and other officials meant “closing the doors of diplomacy” with Washington.

President Hassan Rouhani derided the White House as being “afflicted by mental retardation.”

Rouhani blamed the US for regional tensions and said if Washington had stuck to the deal “we would have witnessed positive developments in the region.”

US President Donald Trump holds up a signed executive order to increase sanctions on Iran, in the Oval Office of the White House, June 24, 2019, in Washington. Trump is accompanied by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, left, and Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Iran announced in May it would suspend two of its pledges under the 2015 deal, giving the agreement’s remaining supporters two months to help it circumvent US sanctions.

European countries that are still a part of the nuclear accord face a July 7 deadline imposed by Tehran to offer a better deal and long-promised relief from US sanctions, or Iran will also begin enriching its uranium closer to weapons-grade levels.

The United Nations says Iran has so far respected the deal’s terms. But by Thursday, Iran says it will have over 300 kilograms (660 pounds) of low-enriched uranium in its possession, which would mean it had broken out of the atomic accord.

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