Iranian President Hassan Rouhani threatens President Trump and the U-S.
President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani exchanged angry threats Monday as tensions between the two nations escalated as Washington prepares to re-impose economic sanctions following its withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord.
Trump tweeted Iran would face dire consequences for making hostile threats against the United States after Rouhani said that “American(s) must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
Trump responded with a tweet written in capital letters that warned: “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
Rouhani cautioned Trump to stop “playing with the lion’s tail or else you will regret it.”
Trump pulled the U.S. out of the deal between Iran and world powers in May despite objections from China, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. The deal was intended to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Trump ordered increased American sanctions after those sanctions had been suspended as part of the accord. The first part of the sanctions — affecting Iran’s access to U.S. dollars, its trade in gold and other commodities, and its car industry — will snap back on August 4. Sanctions on Iran’s oil industry will be re-imposed in November.
Rouhani, a moderate in Iran’s theocracy that is ruled by Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has previously lashed out against Trump for threatening to re-impose the sanctions, as well as for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and banning travel to the U.S. from certain Muslim-majority countries.
Trump has suggested that because of Iran’s poor economy and what he has characterized as its increasing isolation, Iranian leaders are “going to call me and say ‘let’s make a deal.'” Iran has rejected talks.
Since taking office, Trump has developed a reputation for firing off heated tweets that seem to quickly escalate disputes with leaders of nations at odds with the U.S. In the case of North Korea, the public war of words cooled quickly and led to a high-profile summit and denuclearization talks with leader Kim Jong Un.
“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!,” Trump wrote in his latest verbal barrage against Iran.
On Sunday night, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo separately addressed a group of Iranian-Americans in California. Pompeo denounced Rouhani and Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif — Iran’s chief nuclear deal negotiator. He described them as “merely polished front men for (Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s) international con artistry.” He said the Iranian leadership resembles “the mafia more than a government” and vowed to prevent Iran from exporting its oil to other countries.
“For 40 years the Iranian people have heard from their own government that America is the Great Satan. We do not believe they are interested in hearing that #FakeNews any longer,” Pompeo tweeted Monday.
USA TODAY’s Kim Hjelmgaard recently returned from a reporting trip to Iran. A special report on the country will be published in August. Follow him on Twitter.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday called the religious leaders of Iran “hypocritical holy men” who amassed vast sums of wealth while allowing their people to suffer. Pompeo also castigated Iran’s political, judicial and military leaders. (July 22)
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