Trump: Iran is ‘playing with fire’

The sanctions are likely to be levied on individuals or entities linked to Iran’s missile program

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US President Donald Trump on Friday accused Iran of “playing with fire” after the Islamic republic dismissed his warnings over its latest missile test as unfounded and provocative.

In a series of early morning tweets, Trump wrote: “Iran is playing with fire - they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”

But that was only the second of five tweets fired off between 6:24 am and 6:48 am.

The first in the series concerned Trump’s feud with Arnold Schwarzenegger and the rest covered topics as varied as his conversation with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, meetings with business leaders and anti-Trump protesters.

On Thursday, the Trump administration appeared poised to levy fresh sanctions on Iran in what would mark the first concrete evidence of the new president’s tougher stance, hours after he and his national security advisor put Iran “on notice” over missile tests and support for Yemeni militia.

The sanctions are likely to be levied on individuals or entities linked to Iran’s missile program and will be taken under existing presidential powers, sources familiar with White House deliberations said.

The measures are likely to replicate actions by former president Barack Obama’s administration, which targeted firms and the Revolutionary Guard’s missile command after previous tests.

Asked by a reporter if military action was a possibility, Trump said, “Nothing is off the table.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted on Friday that the Islamic Republic was unmoved by US threats following its missile test launch and that Tehran would never initiate war.

“Iran unmoved by threats as we derive security from our people. Will never initiate war, but we can only rely on our own means of defense,” Zarif wrote.

Zarif said Iran had no intention to use its military might against any country, except in self-defense.

“We will never use our weapons against anyone, except in self-defense. Let us see if any of those who complain can make the same statement,” he tweeted.

Iran said on Thursday it would not yield to “useless” US threats from “an inexperienced person” over its missile program.

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