On Sunday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani incited a war of words with U.S. President Trump, telling the U.S. that it should avoid inciting Iranians against their government.
According to the state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), Rouhani is quoted as saying, “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.”
Trump’s response was clear. “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 and death. Be cautious!” said Trump’s tweet.
These comments and increasingly tough talk comes as the U.S. moves to reimpose sanctions against Iran after the U.S. pulled out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). The first round of banking sanctions is to be imposed in three weeks, with bigger sanctions to follow in November.
Iran has been a top priority for the Trump administration. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to a group of Iranian Americans and supporters on July 22 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library, sharing the hopes and goals of the administration.
United States is with the Iranian People
“The ideologues who forcibly came to power in 1979 and remain n power today are driven by a desire to conform all of Iranian society to the tenets of the Islamic Revolution. The regime is also committed to spreading the revolution to other countries, by force if necessary. The total fulfillment of the revolution at home and abroad is the regime’s ultimate goal. It drives their behavior,” said Pompeo. “In light of these protests and 40 years of regime tyranny, I have a message for the people of Iran: The United States hears you; the United States supports you; the United States is with you.”
Throughout his speech, Pompeo also focused on the realities of life in Iran now, where human rights violations and abuses are common, and corruption is rampant.
The Iranian people have been protesting against the economic and social constraints of the regime since December of 2017. Meanwhile, the Iranian regime has rejected talks with the U.S. Europe is attempting to keep the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in place, despite the fact that many companies are pulling out of Iran to avoid tangling with the U.S.
The Trump administration is also trying to block all sales of Iranian oil and is not granting waivers as previous administrations have done in the past to various allies. Official diplomatic relations between the two countries appear to have frozen once more.
The Iranian resistance welcomed the hard line from the Trump administration, seeing it as the first step in calling the regime to account for its abuses and repression of the Iranian people.