Trump and Rouhani in war of words as tensions over Syria rise

Trump and Rouhani in war of words as tensions over Syria rise

No one is predicting imminent war.

General Gholamhossein Gheybparvar, a senior Iran Revolutionary Guards officer and commander of the Basij paramilitary forces, responded to US President Donald Trump's tweet warning Iran to "never ever threaten" the United States Monday morning. Any details of that plan remain to be seen, other than the economic sanctions the U.S.is set to reimpose after leaving the Iran nuclear deal. In the meantime, the U.S.is stepping up Farsi-language outreach that is meant to support Iranians demonstrating against the policies of their government.

The tweet comes a day after Rouhani gave a televised speech in which he spoke directly to Trump.

It could have been an impulsive reaction to reports from Tehran quoting Rouhani as giving the U.S.an oft-repeated reminder that conflict with Iran would be "the mother of all wars".

Rouhani's statement, though balanced against the threat of massive war, actually represents a shift in Iranian foreign policy.

US President Donald Trump has launched an extraordinary threat at Iran in a furious tweet declaring "you will suffer consequences the likes of which few have ever suffered before". "It made them wolves in sheep's clothing", he said.

"The administration is making clear that military action is very much on the table".

As the New York Times noted,"last month the United States said it would impose sanctions on all exporters of Iranian oil".

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday evening addressed a crowd of Iranian Americans and said that the country is ruled by a corrupt elite that is oppressing and impoverishing ordinary Iranians. Pompeo reportedly claimed the nation's leadership "resembles the Mafia more than a government" and called Iran's clerics "hypocritical holy men".

"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."

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"Peace with Iran would be the mother of all peace and war with Iran would be the mother of all wars", Rouhani added for good measure. "BE CAUTIOUS!", he wrote.

Bill Hemmer pushed back, asking if Trump should be "passive" toward Iran, as American leaders have for decades.

Trump's comments to Bolton match with the rhetoric he pumped out on Twitter.

Mr Pompeo, in a speech to a largely Iranian-American audience in California, dismissed Mr Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, as "polished front men for the ayatollahs' worldwide con artistry".

Speaking on "Fox & Friends" on Monday, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Iran is "inciting" tensions.

Current and former US officials said the campaign paints Iranian leaders in a harsh light, at times using information that is exaggerated or contradicts other official pronouncements, including comments by previous administrations.

In the case of North Korea, the public war of words cooled quickly and gradually led to the high profile summit and denuclearization talks.

He cited the harsh words between the US and North Korea that preceded the high profile summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and denuclearization talks.

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