It’s already a war of words, and could escalate. President Donald Trump sent out a furious, all-caps tweet aimed at President Hassan Rouhani, leader of Iran, late Sunday. He warned his counterpart to stop threatening the United States:
“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” Trump tweeted shortly before midnight. “BE CAUTIOUS.”
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Gen. Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar, a commander for the country’s Revolutionary Guard, brushed the comments off on Monday as mere “psychological warfare” against the regime. He said Trump wouldn’t dare act on his threats, the Associated Press reported.
The president’s comments come the same day Rouhani warned the U.S. against further retaliatory action towards the country.
“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said during a gathering with diplomats on Sunday, according to Reuters. “You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests.”
Trump had threatened in May that the U.S. would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. He also said that the White House is set to reimpose sanctions on the country on November 4. The White House also demanded countries end all imports of Iranian oil when the sanctions go into effect, but the State Department rolled back those demands earlier this month. They said it would work with countries on a “case-by-case basis.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also criticized Iran’s clerical and military leaders on Sunday. He said the country was “run by something that resembles the Mafia more than a government.” He accused Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif of being “merely polished front men for the ayatollahs’ international con artistry” and “wolves in sheep’s clothing” with a radical, anti-western agenda.
“These hypocritical holy men have devised all kinds of crooked schemes to become some of the wealthiest men on Earth while their people suffer,” Pompeo said. He accused Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of maintaining a $95 billion untaxed “slush fund.”