DONALD Trump has launched a blistering all-capitals attack on Iran via Twitter.
DONALD Trump has launched a blistering all-capitals attack on Iran via Twitter.

Trump loses it: ‘You will suffer’

DONALD Trump has launched a blistering all-capitals attack on Iran via Twitter.

In a vicious response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the US leader warned him to "NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN", or he will "SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE".

Mr Trump is notorious for his Twitter tirades - but even for him, this is seriously next-level.

The smackdown - which was published about 11.30pm Washington time - came after Mr Rouhani issued a warning to Mr Trump, which was disseminated via the country's state media network.

WHAT WAS THE THREAT?

President Rouhani warned Mr Trump earlier today that the "mother of all wars" would take place if the US maintained its hostilities towards Iran.

"Mr Trump, don't play with the lion's tail, this would only lead to regret," he told a gathering of Iranian diplomats.

"America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.

"You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran's security and interests."

Mr Rouhani scoffed at Mr Trump's threat to halt Iranian oil exports and said Iran had a dominant position in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping waterway.

"Anyone who understands the rudiments of politics doesn't say 'we will stop Iran's oil exports' … we have been the guarantor of the regional waterway's security throughout history," Mr Rouhani said, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

 

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a threat to Donald Trump and the United States.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a threat to Donald Trump and the United States.

 

WHY TENSIONS ARE BREWING

Trump's withdrawal from nuclear deal

Iran is facing increased US pressure after Mr Trump's decided to withdraw from a nuclear deal.

In 2015, under Barack Obama's administration, Iran agreed to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of international sanctions.

The West had long held concerns that the Iranian government was developing a nuclear bomb, even though Iran swore its atomic program was for civilian purposes.

After 21 months of negotiations, the deal was signed. It heavily limited Tehran's nuclear capabilities, and their compliance was checked by United Nations inspectors repeatedly.

Mr Trump was wary of the deal and Iran's commitment to freezing its nuclear aims.

He described it "as the worst deal ever made" and an "embarrassment".

Trump's threat to stop oil exports

Mr Rouhani scoffed at Mr Trump's threat to halt Iranian oil exports and said Iran had a dominant position in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping waterway.

He suggested Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own trade is disrupted.

Iran's oil exports may fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year based on US sanctions, adding new pressure to the already-strained market.

State Department issues anti-Tehran posts

Washington has been accused of pushing online propaganda aimed at stirring up social unrest in Iran.

The State Department's Farsi-language Twitter account and its ShareAmerica website have been frequently critical of Tehran this past month.

Iran is the subject of four of the top five items on the website's "Countering Violent Extremism" section.

They include headlines such as "This Iranian airline helps spread violence and terror".

In social media posts and speeches, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also appeals directly to Iranians, the Iranian diaspora and a global audience.

 

Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and his threat to stop oil exports were among the contributors to the furious exchange.
Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear deal and his threat to stop oil exports were among the contributors to the furious exchange.

 

On June 21, Mr Pompeo tweeted out graphics headlined "Protests in Iran are growing", "Iranian people deserve respect for their human rights" and "Iran's revolutionary guard gets rich while Iranian families struggle".

The tweets were translated into Farsi and posted on the ShareAmerica website.

"Let me be clear, we are not seeking regime change. We are seeking changes in the Iranian government's behaviour," a State Department official said in response to questions from Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"We know we are driving Iran to make some hard choices. Either they can change their ways or find it increasingly difficult to engage in their malign activities.

"And we believe we are offering a very positive vision for what we could achieve and what the Iranian people could have."

Washington has long called Iran the world's leading "state sponsor of terrorism" because Tehran arms and funds proxy militant groups like Lebanese Hezbollah.

In May, Mr Pompeo flagged strong sanctions on Tehran to ensure "Iran has no possible path to a nuclear weapon, ever".

Iranian leaders urge the destruction of the US and Israel, and Iranian proxies have killed hundreds of US soldiers and diplomats since the Islamic Revolution.

- with Reuters


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