President Donald Trump dedicated his first tweets of the new year to lashing out at Pakistan and Iran.
The president first blasted Pakistan on Monday for giving the United States “nothing but lies & deceit.” Minutes later, he tweeted that Iran was “failing at every level.”
Pakistani officials were preparing a response to the accusations, the country’s foreign minister said about an hour after Trump’s tweet.
Trump has been severely critical of the Pakistani government’s handling of terrorist networks. The New York Times reported Saturday that his administration was considering withholding $225 million in aid from Pakistan to punish the country for failing to cooperate with counterterrorism operations.
Vice President Mike Pence said last month that Trump had “put Pakistan on notice.”
“For too long Pakistan has provided safe haven to the Taliban and many terrorist organizations, but those days are over,” Pence said during a speech to troops in Afghanistan. “As the president said, so I say now: Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with the United States, and Pakistan has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.”
Trump’s heated criticism of Iran on Monday was the latest attack in a war of words between the president and Iranian leadership.
The country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, on Wednesday accused the U.S. government of “supporting ISIS and the like” and spending a “tremendous” amount of money to sow “discord” among Americans.
Trump tweeted Sunday that it was “TIME FOR CHANGE” in light of deadly nationwide protests sweeping across Iran. Iranian demonstrators, frustrated by government corruption and a lack of improved economic conditions following the 2015 nuclear deal, have called on Khamenei to step down.
Trump has been staunchly against the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under the Obama administration. He has threatened to kill the agreement, which required Iran to reduce its nuclear capabilities in exchange for the lifting of nuclear-related economic sanctions.