WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — President Donald Trump is warning the Iranian president that he will face dire consequences for threatening the United States.
Trump tweeted late Sunday night in all capital letters: “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
He added: “WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
Earlier in the day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said America “must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
Iran’s state-owned news agency IRNA dismissed Trump’s tweet, describing it as a “passive reaction” to Rouhani’s remarks.
“I think the president has been pretty strong since day one in his language towards Iran,” said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to reporters on Monday. “He was responding to comments made from them and he’s going to continue to focus on the safety and the security of the American people.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump’s “strong stance” after years in which the Iranian “regime was pampered by world powers.”
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.
With the economic pressure, Trump said earlier this month that “at a certain point they’re going to call me and say ‘let’s make a deal,’ and we’ll make a deal.”
Iran has rejected talks with the U.S., and Rouhani has accused the U.S. of stoking an “economic war.”
Rouhani also suggested Iran could immediately ramp up its production of uranium in response to U.S. pressure. Potentially that would escalate the very situation the nuclear deal sought to avoid — an Iran with a stockpile of enriched uranium that could lead to making atomic bombs.
On Sunday in California, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was strongly critical of Iran, calling its religious leaders “hypocritical holy men” who amassed vast sums of wealth while allowing their people to suffer.
In the speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Pompeo castigated Iran’s political, judicial and military leaders, accusing several by name of participating in widespread corruption. He also said the government has “heartlessly repressed its own people’s human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms.”
He said despite poor treatment by their leaders, “the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government’s many abuses.”
“And the United States under President Trump will not stay silent either. In light of these protests and 40 years of regime tyranny, I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you,” he said. “The United States supports you. The United States is with you.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)