Netanyahu praises Trump, Pompeo after Iran saber-rattling

Trump warns Rouhani Never threaten US or you will face consequences

Hours after the president of Iran warned of the "mother of all wars" if the USA acts aggressively toward his country, President Trump blasted back on twitter with an angry message warning the Iranians never to threaten him or America.

President Donald Trump is warning Iranian President Hassan Rouhani that he will face dire consequences for threatening the United States.

"You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran's security and interests", Rouhani said, in an apparent reference to reports of efforts by Washington to destabilise Iran's Islamic government.

Trump took to Twitter to reply, as he tends to do.

Iranian lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told The Associated Press that he doubted it would come to a military confrontation between Iran and the United States, despite the escalating rhetoric.

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His comments Sunday night came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a major address to the Iranian diaspora in California, said Washington is not afraid to sanction top-ranking leaders of the "nightmare" Iranian regime. He called the religious leaders of Iran "hypocritical holy men" who amassed vast sums of wealth while allowing their people to suffer, part of a highly critical broadside issued as the republic approached the 40th anniversary of its Islamic revolution and the USA prepared to reimpose the economic sanctions.

"The level of corruption and wealth among regime leaders shows that Iran is run by something that resembles the mafia more than a government".

Within hours, Iranian state-owned news agency IRNA dismissed Trump's tweet, describing it as a "passive reaction" to Rouhani's remarks.

With popular discontent over Iran's faltering economy and sliding currency, and the prospect of tough new USA sanctions, Iran's leaders have called for unity.

"Such policies will unite Iranians who will overcome plots against their country", Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi said. Pompeo promised U.S. aid to Iranians who would rise up against their government officials, whom he said were "merely polished front men for the ayatollahs' worldwide con artistry". The United States supports you.

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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.

Several members of the Trump administration and Trump's circle have been outspoken hawks on Iran. "Iranians want to be governed with dignity, accountability and respect".

Pompeo said senior Iranian leaders had benefited from embezzlement, sweetheart deals and other ill-gotten gains.

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

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