He "made it clear that Trump wants to drag the region into an open war before leaving…and it is not in our interest to give him any justification to start such a war."
The Iranian leadership was making sure everyone had their signals straight, so they wouldn't get provoked into a war they very much did not want. And that took a lot of restraint because they were being buffeted by torrential provocation.
The most recent volley of provocations began ten months ago with the January 23, 2020 assassination of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani while on a diplomatic mission in Iraq, with the US in the role of trigger supported by Israel in the role of gun sight. Suleimani was killed by American hellfire missiles using Israeli intelligence that "confirmed and verified" informants' information tipping the US off to which plane Suleimani arrived on.
The assassination of Iran's top military official was followed by a dangerous mid air provocation. On July 23, a civilian Iranian plane had to dive to avoid a collision with two American fighter jets that illegally intercepted it.