Tehran: Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saturday that the Islamic republic must become strong enough to ward off the “enemy’s threats” and prevent a war.
Khamenei also said Iran had a strong air force despite decades of US pressure and sanctions on the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“We must become strong so that there will not be a war, become strong so that enemy’s threats will end,” he told a gathering of air force commanders and staff.
“We do not want to threaten anyone… this is to prevent threats, to maintain the country’s security,” he added in a speech aired on state television.
Tensions escalated between Tehran and Washington after a January 3 US drone strike killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad.
Iran retaliated days later by firing a wave of missiles at American troops stationed in Iraq.