Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in a televised speech said that Tehran was working daily to prevent military confrontation or war and a dialogue with the world was 'possible' despite tensions with the United States. On January 8, Iran fired multiple missiles on Iraqi military bases housing the US troops and called it it's retaliation to Soleimani killing. Iran's attack was also the culmination of nearly two years of steadily rising tensions since US President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
President Hassan Rouhani said, "The government is working daily to prevent military confrontation or war”. Further adding that dialogue with the international community was difficult but remained "possible".
The latest surge in tensions has also prompted calls for de-escalation from an international community that fears a wider conflict in the Middle East. Earlier, Rouhani had also said that the Islamic Republic's retaliation to the killing of Soleimani shows that they “do not retreat in the face of America”. He further reportedly also said that US might have 'cut off the arm' of Soleimani but America's 'leg' in the region would be cut off in response.
The interference of the United States in Iran dates back to 1950s when it helped overthrow a democratic leader in a coup. However, the relationship between Iran and the US saw a glimmer of hope during the second term of the Obama administration when the former President started negotiations with Iran's new President Hassan Rouhani. In 2015, Iran reached a historic nuclear deal with P5+1 group which included the US, UK, France, China, Russia and Germany. Iran, under the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), agreed to limit sensitive nuclear activities in lieu of lifting economic sanctions.
However, Republican President Donald Trump, in May 2018, withdrew from the nuclear deal accusing Iran of violating the terms of JCPOA and followed it with crippling economic sanctions. The bilateral relationship has been vulnerable since then with Trump pressuring other countries to impose sanctions on Iran. In December last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the country is ready to hold nuclear talks with the United States on the condition that they lift the “unlawful” sanctions.