President Trump issued a blistering warning to Iran Sunday night after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani suggested Washington’s harsh policies against Iran could lead to the “mother of all wars.”
“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” tweeted Trump on Sunday. “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
The exchange of threats follows increased pressure on Iran, including possible sanctions resulting from Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the JCPOA. Meanwhile, the value of the Iranian rial has dropped nearly 50% since January and citizens are taking to the streets to protest rising prices, environmental damage, and the lack of political and social freedoms.
These problems were further exacerbated by Trump’s June threat to sanction any nation that continues to purchase Iranian crude after November 4th and the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold a controversial travel ban affecting Iranian citizens.
In July, Iran threatened to block all oil exports from the Strait of Hormuz if the US blocks its crude sales. Last Wednesday, Iran’s nuclear chief claimed the country’s uranium stockpile had reached 950 tons.
On Sunday, President Rouhani warned Trump not to “play with the lion’s tail.” That same day, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo likened the Iranian regime to the “mafia” and accused its leaders of funding terror at the expense of its citizens.
“To the regime, prosperity, security, and freedom for the Iranian people are acceptable casualties in the march to fulfill the Revolution…The level of corruption and wealth among regime leaders show Iran is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government,” said Pompeo, who claimed Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei had a personal hedge fund worth $95 billion.
“Right now, the US is undertaking a diplomatic and financial pressure campaign to cut off the funds that the regime uses to enrich itself and support death and destruction,” continued Pompeo. “We are asking every nation who is sick and tired of the Islamic Republic’s destructive behavior to join our pressure campaign.”
Former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei responded to the speech by claiming 50,000 US troops are in range of Iranian weapons. Another official said America wants to “destroy Iran” but that “Trump cannot do a damn thing.”
In response to concerns that Trump’s harsh rhetoric could incite a military conflict with Iran, Pentagon official John Rood told reporters that Washington had not altered its military posture regarding Iran.