Raisi: Iran will not start a war, but ‘anyone wants to bully us will receive a strong response’

This handout picture taken and released by the Iranian Presidency shows Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi praying at the tomb of the Islamic Republic's late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in Tehran on January 31, 2024 (Iranian Presidency / AFP)
This handout picture taken and released by the Iranian Presidency shows Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi praying at the tomb of the Islamic Republic's late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, in Tehran on January 31, 2024 (Iranian Presidency / AFP)

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi says that his country will not start a war, but it will “respond strongly” to anyone who bullies it.

“We will not start any war, but if anyone wants to bully us they will receive a strong response,” Raisi says in a televised speech.

Raisi’s comments came after days of speculation about how Washington might retaliate after three US soldiers were killed in a strike on their base in Jordan by an Iranian-backed group.

It was the first killing of American troops in a wave of attacks by Iran-backed groups against US forces in the region since the Oct. 7 Hamas onslaught on Israel.

The Wall Street Journal reports that US strikes in Iraq and Syria against multiple targets, including Iranian personnel and facilities in those countries, could begin this weekend.

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