WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s explosive Twitter threat to Iran’s leader comes as his administration is ratcheting up a pressure campaign on the Islamic republic.
Trump’s bellicose, all-caps challenge late Sunday to President Hassan Rouhani followed a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he accused Iran’s leadership of massive corruption and widespread rights abuses and urged Iranians to rise up in protest.
Both the tweet and the speech landed less than two weeks before the administration will begin re-imposing sanctions on Iran that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal.
Trump tweeted Sunday that if Iran threatened the U.S. it would “SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
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
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded Monday on Twitter, writing, “COLOR US UNIMPRESSED.”
COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them —albeit more civilized ones—for 40 yrs. We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) July 23, 2018