UNITED NATIONS - Iran's President Hassan Rouhani warned world leaders on Wednesday - amid rising tensions between Tehran and Washington - that the Gulf region is "on the edge of collapse, as a single blunder can fuel a big fire."
"We shall not tolerate the provocative intervention of foreigners. We shall respond decisively and strongly to any sort of transgression to and violation of our security and territorial integrity," Rouhani told the annual gathering of world leaders for the UN General Assembly in New York.
Rouhani also pledged that Iran will never hold talks with the United States under pressure, but added that lifting all the sanctions Washington imposed on Tehran under President Donald Trump and respecting a UN Security Council resolution could pave the way for negotiations.
"Our response to talks under pressure is NO," said Rouhani, and warned that Iran might exit a 2015 nuclear deal if the European powers failed to salvage the deal.
"We are committed to the nuclear deal ... but Iran's patience has a limit," said the president, who was architect of the deal with six powers durine the tenure of Barack Obama as president.
Iran has criticized the European parties to the deal for their failure to protect Iran's interests by shielding them from U.S. penalties which has been reimposed and tightened since last year when Washington exited the pact.
In retaliation, Iran has gradually reduced its commitments to the agreement.
The confrontation between arch enemies Iran and the United States has ratcheted up after attacks on Saudi oil facilities on Sept. 14 that Washington, the European Union and Riyadh blame on Tehran despite its denials.
Rouhani said the only way to secure peace and safety in the Gulf was strengthening "consolidation among all the nations with common interests in the Persian Gulf and the Hormuz region."
He said to those countries that "we are neighbors with you, not with America" and called for the United States to withdraw troops from the region.