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Iran not seeking war, but is not afraid of it, elite force’s commander says

Hossein Salami earlier said Tehran was on the brink of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy

TASS, May 19. Iran is not pursuing war, but is not afraid of combat actions, Commander of the country’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Hossein Salami said, according to Al Jazeera TV channel.

"The difference between us and them [Americans] is that they are afraid of war and don't have the will for it," Salami said.

Salami earlier said Tehran was on the brink of a full-scale confrontation with the enemy. He later pledged that Iran would "hit the US in the head" if Washington carried out any military action against Tehran.

US President Donald Trump expressed hope on Thursday that the conflict between the US and Iran would not grow into war.

On May 5, US National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the deployment of a navy strike group headed by USS Abraham Lincoln and a strike aircraft task group to the CENTCOM zone of authority as a signal to Iranian authorities. Later it was announced that the group would be joined by the USS Arlington and Patriot missiles.

The Pentagon said the step was taken in response to "indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and our [American] interests." Washington emphasized that it was not seeking a conflict with Iran, but was ready to protect US forces and interests in the region.