Trump issued warning as Iran chief boasts Tehran has not ‘made any cuts’ to its military

Brigadier General Hossein Dehghan told the FT that Tehran had not “made any cuts to the budgets of our military organisations.” The statement dismisses the claims made by the Trump administration that its strategies have forced Iran to cut defence budgets. General Dehghan said: “Militarily, today we are definitely in a better situation than three years ago when Mr Trump came to power, in all aspects — from staff, organisation to equipment.

“And we will be better in five years if Mr Trump is re-elected.

“In the region, since the formation of Isis and the rise of insecurity, we have used all our capacity to organise, train and consult our allies.”

General Dehghan is, himself, under US sanctions.

He is also a former top commander in the elite Revolutionary Guards.

The Trump administration has boasted frequently of success in terms of the country’s relations with Iran.

Mr Trump’s team have asserted one of the key successes of his presidency was forcing Iran to reduce military spending by 30 percent.

General Dehghan appears to dispute this, however, leans towards an agreement with the US which avoids all-out war.

He added: “The US strategy is costing them and it costs us. But who is the winner now?

“Today we believe our influence in the region has increased despite all this pressure.

“We will never abandon our regional allies.

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“We are not players, we are revolutionaries.”

A huge dispute between the two countries has lingered since Mr Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

The deal had been struck with several countries across the world, and America’s withdrawal preceded harsh sanctions on Iran.

Tensions then exploded after a US drone strike assassinated Iran’s Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani.

But General Dehghan appeared keen to emphasise Iranian strength.

The military leader said Tehran would not stage any attack against the US unless they were attacked first.

He concluded: “The US thinks we are in a weak position and need to negotiate.

“The US wants to negotiate with us to say ‘why do you have missiles, why are you present in the region and why do you have military capabilities?’

“What kind of negotiations are these?”

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