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Iran

Donald Trump warns Iran to never threaten US. On Twitter. In all CAPS

Trump earlier this year pulled the United States out of the international deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon and ordered increased American sanctions

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 July, 2018, 12:43pm
UPDATED : Monday, 23 July, 2018, 10:17pm

US President Donald Trump launched a new broadside against Iran, warning of unspecified “consequences” if counterpart Hassan Rowhani again threatened America.

In a Twitter post late Sunday, Trump in all caps said: “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!”

The comment – similar in tone and wording he used last year in warning North Korea about its rapidly improving nuclear weapons programme – came hours after Rowhani said the US risked the “mother of all wars” in a conflict with Iran.

In a speech, Rowhani warned his US counterpart against threatening the nation’s oil exports and called for improved relations with its neighbours, including arch-rival Saudi Arabia.

The head of Iran’s Basij militia on Monday dismissed Trump’s threat as “psychological warfare”.

“Trump’s statements against Iran are psychological warfare. He is not in a position to act against Iran,” said General Gholam Hossein Gheypour, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

Trump is reimposing sanctions on Iran, which ships most of its oil through the Strait of Hormuz, in an effort to squelch the country’s oil sales.

Hormuz, a shipping chokepoint at the mouth of the Gulf, is a conduit for tankers carrying about 30 per cent of all seaborne-traded crude oil and other liquids.

Also Sunday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo delivered a speech on Iran policy in southern California accusing the country’s leaders of corruption and urging European allies to join the US in a pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

Pompeo said Iran’s leadership is made up of “hypocritical holy men” responsible for “crooked schemes” that have hurt the country’s economy and citizens.

Pompeo said America stands in solidarity with Iranians and reiterated that the US expects countries to “significantly” reduce their dependence on Iranian oil or face tough new sanctions after November 4.

“While it is ultimately up to the Iranian people to determine the direction of their country, the United States, in the spirit of our own freedoms, will support the long-ignored voice of the Iranian people,” Pompeo said in the speech in Simi Valley, California.

The speech was the latest in a wave of US criticism as the Trump administration seeks to marshal support for its plan to reimpose sanctions against Iran – and punish anyone who does business with it – in the weeks since the US pulled out of the 2015 accord to limit Iran’s nuclear programme in May.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday praised Trump for his “tough stand” against Iran.

“I would like to praise the tough stand expressed yesterday by President Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo against the aggression of the Iranian regime,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting. “Over the years, this regime has been spoiled by the major powers and it is good to see that the US is changing this unacceptable equation.”

Netanyahu lobbied hard to have the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers cancelled and Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in May.

Additional reporting by Associated Press, Agence France-Presse