Trump fires off explosive threat to Iran's leader

Arturo Kim
July 23, 2018

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.

Earlier, Iran's president warned Mr Trump against provoking his country, while indicating peace between the two nations might still be possible.

In an address to Iranian diplomats on Sunday, Rouhani had said: "Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars".

"He is not in a position to act against Iran", said General Gholam Hossein Gheypour, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

"Criticism of the corruption of the Iranian government is not only often times accurate but also something that a lot of Iranians would agree with", Parsi told Al Jazeera. When Mr. Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal this spring, a crude drawing of a USA flag was burned in the Iranian Parliament amid chants of "Death to America".

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

The tweet was "really about war", CNN's John Avlon said, adding that there's a contradiction in Trump getting cozy with Russian Federation, which supports Iran in Syria.

Financial hardships have led many Iranians to take to the streets in protests, initially for economic reasons but often morphing into demonstrations against the government itself.

"The United States hears you".

Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched his own rhetorical assault on Iran's leaders, promising unspecified backing for Iranians unhappy with their government.

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He also accused the Iranian regime of trying to convince Europe not to leave the nuclear deal, while "they're covertly plotting terrorist attacks in the heart of Europe".

Speaking in California, he said Iranian leaders had benefited from bribes and embezzlement.

In naming Iranian officials who have amassed fortunes while the people struggle, Pompeo cited "thieving thug" Sadeq Larijani, head of the Iranian Judiciary, who he said is now worth $300 million.

Roundly applauded by his audience, Pompeo affirmed support by Washington for protesters in the Islamic republic.

In a televised speech ahead of Pompeo's address, Rouhani repeated his warning that Iran could shut down the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane for global oil supplies.

The top U.S. diplomat claimed that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had an off-the-books hedge fund, Setad, worth $95bn, and that Iran's judiciary chief Sadeq Larijani was worth $300m after wiring public funds to his own accounts.

"Sometimes it seems the world has become desensitised to the regime's authoritarianism at home and its campaigns of violence overseas, but the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government's many abuses", Pompeo said. He assured them that the Trump administration shared their dreams for the people of Iran.

The 2015 agreement was in response to fears that Iran was developing a nuclear bomb.

Germany is calling for restraint amid escalating rhetoric between the leaders of Iran and the United States.

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