Trump and Iran's Rouhani trade angry threats

  • Trump Warns Iran's Rouhani Of Consequences "Few...Have Ever Suffered"
    Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency replied dismissing Donald Trump's tweet and describing it as a "passive reaction" to Hassan Rouhani's remarks. Trump Warns Iran's Rouhani Of Consequences "Few...Have Ever Suffered"
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US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani have traded hostile warnings, amid rising tensions between the two countries.

Mr Trump tweeted Iran would "suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before" if it threatened the US.

Mr Rouhani earlier said that war with Iran would be "the mother of all wars".

In May, the US left a deal which curbed Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of international sanctions.

Washington is now re-imposing the sanctions, despite objections from the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, who all signed the 2015 agreement.

But there are other flashpoints too. The US is deeply suspicious of Iranian activity in the Middle East and is an ally of Israel and Saudi Arabia, two of Iran's major foes.

President Rouhani's comments, made to Iranian diplomats, did leave open the possibility of future good relations with the US.

"America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars," he said, according to Iran's state news agency Irna. 

Mr Trump's angry rhetoric has echoes of his Twitter barrages against North Korea's Kim Jong-un, whom he branded a "madman". Their verbal hostilities nonetheless evolved into diplomacy.

On Monday, a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards suggested the US president's statements were part of a broader strategy.

"The remarks Trump makes against Iran are psychological warfare and he would be mistaken should he seek to take action against Iran," Gholamhossein Gheybparvar said, quoted by the Iranian Students News Agency.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he wanted to try to stop countries importing Iranian oil by November as part of continued pressure on Tehran.

Addressing a group of Iranian Americans in California, he said the Iranian regime "resembles the mafia more than a government".

The gathering was the first time a top US official had directly addressed such a large number of Iranian Americans, and is seen as part of the administration's strategy to increase pressure on Iran's leadership.

What do the US and Iran disagree on?
Mr Trump has consistently opposed the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw the US release billions of dollars of frozen assets in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme
The Trump administration regards Iran as a destabilising force in the Middle East, arguing the nuclear deal enabled Iran to pursue a more assertive regional policy. Iran has sent hundreds of troops and thousands of volunteer militiamen to Syria, and has strengthened its military presence there
Gulf states have accused Iran of backing Yemen's Houthi rebels with both money and weapons, though Iran has denied this. Saudi Arabia, a key US ally, is a major adversary of Iran and has repeatedly warned about Iran's intentions.