WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Sunday warned Iran of consequences "the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered," if it threatens the United States.
"NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE," he said on Twitter in a direct message to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
"WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!" Trump said, unusually writing the entire message in capital letters.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
The escalation in rhetoric came as the Trump administration has launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups, according to US officials familiar with the matter.
Iran has faced increased US pressure and looming sanctions following Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from a 2015 international deal over Iran's nuclear program. Tehran has said its nuclear work is just for electricity generation and other peaceful projects.
In a speech late on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced Iran's leaders as a "mafia" and promised unspecified backing for Iranians unhappy with their government.
Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats earlier on Sunday, Rouhani said: "Mr Trump, don't play with the lion's tail, this would only lead to regret," according to a report by the state new agency IRNA.