Trump to Iran: ‘Never Threaten the United States’
U.S. President Donald Trump sharply warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to "never threaten the United States," or the Islamic Republic would suffer historical consequences.
He appeared to be responding to reports earlier in the day quoting Rouhani warning Trump, "Don't play with the lion's tail. This would only lead to regret."
"America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars," Rouhani said.
Gen. Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar, a senior officer in Iran's Revolutionary Guard, dismissed Trump's statement as "psychological warfare" and said Trump would not take action against Iran.
Trump's national security adviser John Bolton said he had spoken to Trump "over the last several days" and said the president "told me that if Iran does anything at all to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid before."
Asked if Trump ran the risk of inciting a war with his tweet, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said,"Look, the president is responding to Iran, and he's not going to allow them to continue to make threats against America. If anybody is inciting anything, look no further than to Iran."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told an audience at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California that the government in Iran has become a nightmare for the Iranian people.
The top U.S. diplomat said the United States is not afraid to pressure the Iranian government at its highest level, as he urged all U.S. allies to join in financially to suppress the government.
"This especially goes for our allies in the Middle East and Europe, people who have themselves been terrorized by the violent regime's activity for decades," Pompeo said.
He said the Trump administration will not stay silent against what he calls the numerous crimes and abuses of the Iranian government. This includes kleptocracy, with Pompeo saying those at the top have squandered the people's wealth on terrorism and theft and a zeal to spread the Islamic revolution to other nations.
Pompeo said the Iranian economy is "going great," but only for the elite, accusing the ayatollahs and senior leaders of lining their pockets with billions of dollars while a third of Iranians live in poverty.
"Judging by their vast wealth, they seem more concerned with riches than religion," he said. "These hypocritical holy men have devised all kinds of crooked schemes to become some of the wealthiest men on Earth while their people suffer."
While Pompeo was speaking about the lack of free speech in Iran, he was interrupted by a heckler. The secretary stood by calmly before remarking that Iranians should have the same kind of freedom of expression.
Pompeo also announced that the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees the Voice of America, is taking new steps to help Iranians get around internet censorship. The BBG is also launching a new 24/7 Farsi-language channel across television, radio, digital and social media formats.
He said the goal of the United States is to see Iranians inside their own country live the same kind of life Iranians in the United States enjoy.
Source: Voice of America