President Donald Trump sent out a furious, all-caps tweet aimed at Iranian President Hassan Rouhani late Sunday, warning his counterpart to stop threatening the United States with a blistering message of his own.
“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.”
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, saying 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 toward 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.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday reiterated Trump’s warning to Iran, telling Fox News that “if needed, and steps are required, this president is not afraid to take them.”
“He’s certainly not going to tolerate the leader of Iran making threats against Americans, making threats against this country, making threats against Israel,” Sanders said. “This is a president who is going to stand up and make sure he is doing what is necessary.”
Trump said in May that the U.S. would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal and the White House is set to reimpose sanctions on the country on November 4. His administration had 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 saying it would work with countries on a “case-by-case basis.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leveled his own criticism of Iran’s clerical and military leaders on Sunday, saying 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, accusing Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of maintaining a $95 billion untaxed “slush fund.”
The language in Trump’s tweet mirrors statements he made against North Korea last August, during which he threatened the regime “with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Since that ultimatum, Trump has not only attended a historic denuclearization summit with North Korea but has praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “very talented man” and a “worthy negotiator.”
This article has been updated to include Iran’s response and the comments of Sarah Huckabee Sanders.