US President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he won't be sending boots to the ground if his country goes to a war with Iran. He, however, hopes the US doesn't have to go to a war with Iran.
In an interview with Fox Business News, Trump was asked if America is going to go to war with Iran.
"Well, I hope we don't but we're in a very strong position if something should happen. We're in a very strong position. It wouldn't last very long, I can tell you that. And I'm not talking boots on the ground," Trump said amid acute tensions between the two countries.
In the current crisis with Iran, exacerbated by its downing of an unmanned US spy drone last week, Trump has at turns sounded tough or conciliatory -- talking up US military might and saying all options are on the table, or offering Tehran talks on renegotiating the multi-party nuclear deal that Trump withdrew from last year.
That step is widely seen as the genesis of steadily declining relations between the two countries over the past year.
Meanwhile, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that his country remains unbowed by pressure exerted by the United States and its "insults" against the Islamic republic.
"The Iranian nation seeks dignity, independence and progress; that's why pressures by cruel enemies do not affect Iranians," Khamenei said in a speech to a crowd in Tehran.
"The graceful Iranian nation has been accused and insulted by the world's most vicious regime, the US, which is a source of wars, conflicts and plunder," he said, quoted by his office.
"The Iranian nation won't give up over such insults," said Khamenei.
(With inputs from PTI)