President Donald Trump has responded to a veiled threat from the Iranian regime with a warning of his own on Twitter. In all capital letters, Trump warned that any hostilities against the United States would be met with dire consequences.
In response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who warned the U.S. that a war with Tehran would be the “mother of all wars,” but peace would be “the mother of all peace,” Trump threatened Iran in a tweet. Rouhani also cautioned Trump not to “play with the lion’s tail, because you will regret it eternally.” Trump then responded, likely heightening already sky-high tensions with Iran in the wake of Washington’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear agreement, and told the Iranian president to never threaten the United States again.
Trump announced in May that the United States was withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and last month the United States said it would impose sanctions on all exporters of Iranian oil. American officials have since moderated the sanctions demand, which roiled oil markets. That announcement of withdrawal has been the beginning of increasing tensions and rhetoric between Washington and Tehran.
Trump wrote: “To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATE AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE 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!”
Escalation of rhetoric has obviously shot up thanks to both leaders recently. Rouhani had earlier threatened the possible disruption of regional oil shipments if its own exports were blocked by U.S. sanctions. On Saturday, Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said he supported Rouhani’s suggestion to block oil exports, an indication that Iran’s leadership was in accord over the apparent threat. Rouhani has long been considered a more pragmatic leader who was seen as “tolerable” to moderates, according to The New York Times.
IRNA, the state-controlled news agency, dismissed Trump’s message Monday as “bullying words and the rhetoric he uses especially in his early-morning tweets.” The New York Times further reported that Trump’s warning to Iran came hours after a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that was harshly critical of Iran’s leadership.
Pompeo accused Iran’s leadership of widespread corruption at the expense of its citizens’ welfare. “Governments around the world worry that confronting the Islamic Republic harms the cause of moderates, but these so-called moderates within the regime are still violent Islamic revolutionaries with an anti-America, anti-West agenda,” Pompeo said in the speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. “You only have to take their own words for it.”