NEW YORK, NY — The Trump administration on Friday issued a statement denying reports that it was seeking to “remove the Jewish state” from the Middle East.
The statement from the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer came as Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman called the move an “act of aggression” and warned that it will “further inflame the situation” in the region.
Spicer also said that the administration “does not consider any threats by Iran to the United States as an attack on the United State.”
He also noted that “our nation is not at war” and that “there is no credible evidence” that Iran was seeking the destruction of Israel.
“It is time to end this war of aggression,” Spicer said.
“And Iran has no intention of stopping fighting Israel.”
The statement comes after Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on Wednesday told CNN’s “State of the Union” that he thought the U.S. could “take care of Iran” if they had a nuclear weapon.
Flynn’s comments came after Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said that Tehran was “not prepared to make concessions” and had “no intention” of removing Israel.
Iran has said it is seeking a nuclear weapons capability to counter what it sees as U.N. Security Council sanctions and Western hostility toward its disputed nuclear program.
The Trump White House has so far denied any desire to “take out Israel.”
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, said Friday that Iran’s goal is to create a “nuclear free zone” that would allow it to develop its nuclear capabilities without international oversight.
He said Iran was “ready” to take advantage of the situation to develop a nuclear bomb.