Via Twitter: Trump, Iran drama escalates

Tuesday, 24 Jul, 2018

Addressing a group of Iranian Americans in California, Mr Pompeo denounced Mr Rouhani and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who negotiated the nuclear deal, as "merely polished front men for the ayatollahs' worldwide con artistry".

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit back on Monday at threats from US President Donald Trump on Twitter, warning him to "BE CAUTIOUS!" "BE CAUTIOUS!", he wrote.

Reuters reports that the latter refers to an offensive by Washington aimed at stimulating more unrest among Iranians using speeches and online platforms, according to unnamed sources familiar with this offensive.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a speech before Iranian-Americans in California, attacked Iran's rulers, calling them a "mafia". In the past, USA -funded media efforts in Iran have had little impact and reached only a small audience.

In May, Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions on Iran.

No, Obama improved relations with Iran.

Pompeo also slammed Iran's political, judicial and military officials, accusing several by name of participating in rampant corruption, and called its religious leaders "hypocritical holy men" who amassed wealth while allowing their people to suffer. The U.S. president supported the protests, saying "the people of Iran are finally acting against the brutal and corrupt Iranian regime". U.S. officials confirm upcoming statements against Iran will portray them in a harsh light, and may be "exaggerated" or even contradict previous statements. Tehran "will resist pressure from enemies", Gheybparvar asserted, adding that America "wants nothing less than to destroy Iran".

He said Iran could well go to war to protect its oil exports, the foundation of its economy. Gheibparvar's comments were reported by the semi-official ISNA news agency. He dismissed Trump's salvos as "psychological warfare".

Rezaee is now one of the officers of the regime's Expediency Discernment Council, which advises Iranian "Supreme Leader" Ali Khamenei, who wields ultimate power in Iran.

Pompeo insisted the United States would have no qualms in targeting Iran's top leadership with sanctions, and said the Trump administration was launching a 24/7 Farsi-language channel on TV, radio, digital and social media formats to reach Iranians in Iran and around the globe. Skirmishes this year between Israel and the Revolutionary Guard and its proxies have already raised the specter of war.

The strait "should either be safe for everybody or unsafe for everybody", Tasnim quoted Heidari as saying.

Democrats have expressed alarm about Trump's Iran bluster.

"Pompeo's words constituted very clear evidence showing the U.s. efforts to meddle in Iran's internal affairs", Qasemi said. Many wondered at the choice of platform to send the message: Twitter is banned in Iran.

But some analysts warned that Trump's words could backfire if they are not followed up with action.

Under Trump, many suspect the United States government is hoping for regime change in Iran.

In response, Iran said it would refuse to take part in any further talks with the US.

But the president stood by his remarks.

Germany has called for restraint amid escalating rhetoric between the two leaders.