Donald Trump has warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he will face dire consequences for threatening the United States.
The US President tweeted early on Monday about the dangers to Iran of making hostile threats after Mr Rouhani said on Sunday “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars”.
The president earlier this year pulled the United States out of the international deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon and ordered increased American sanctions.
The US leader had suggested Iranian leaders are “going to call me and say ‘let’s make a deal’” but Iran has rejected talks.
Mr Rouhani previously lashed out against Mr Trump for threatening to re-impose the sanctions, as well as for moving the US embassy to Jerusalem and banning travel to the US from certain Muslim-majority countries.
The president’s tweet suggested he has little patience with the trading of hostile messages with Iran, using exceptionally strong language and writing an all-capitalised message.
“WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!,” he wrote.
Mr Trump has a history of firing off heated tweets that seem to quickly escalate long-standing disputes with leaders of nations at odds with the US.
In the case of North Korea, the public war of words cooled quickly and gradually led to the high profile summit and denuclearisation talks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Mr Trump for his “strong stance” on Iran.
Mr Netanyahu said Mr Trump and his secretary of state Mike Pompeo were taking a clear position against “Iranian aggression” after years in which the “regime was pampered by world powers”.
A high-ranking Iranian officer dismissed Mr Trump’s warning as nothing but “psychological warfare”.
General Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar, the chief of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard’s volunteer Basij force, also said Mr Trump “won’t dare” take any military action against Iran.
Gen Gheibparvar’s comments were reported by the semi-official Isna news agency.
On Sunday, Mr Pompeo was strongly critical of Iran, calling its religious leaders “hypocritical holy men” who amassed vast sums of wealth while allowing their people to suffer.
In the speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California, Mr Pompeo castigated Iran’s political, judicial and military leaders, accusing several by name of participating in widespread corruption.
He also said the government in Tehran has “heartlessly repressed its own people’s human rights, dignity and fundamental freedoms”.
Mr Pompeo said: “The proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government’s many abuses. And the United States under President Trump will not stay silent either.”