Trump threatens to use force on Iran in retaliation for any attack

“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force,” Trump said. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to use force on Iran in retaliation for any attack “on anything American,” after Iran said new US sanctions precluded any diplomacy and called the White House actions “mentally retarded.”

“Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

Iran says ‘idiotic’ new US sanctions shut doors of diplomacy

Meanwhile, Iran warned Tuesday that new US sanctions targeting its Supreme Leader and other top officials meant “closing the doors of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington amid heightened tensions, even as the country’s president derided the White House as being “afflicted by mental retardation.”

President Hassan Rouhani went on to call the sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei “outrageous and idiotic,” especially since the 80-year-old Shiite cleric has no plans to travel to the United States.

Yet the sharp response from Tehran shows the pressure that the nation’s Shiite theocracy and its 80 million people feel over the maximalist campaign of sanctions by the Trump administration.

From Israel, President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton said Iran could walk through an “open door” to talks with America, though he also warned that “all options remain on the table” if Tehran makes good on its promise to begin breaking one limit from its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

An exasperated Rouhani

“You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks,” an exasperated Rouhani said, calling the sanctions “outrageous and idiotic.” “The White House is afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do,” he added.

“As we speak, American diplomatic representatives are surging across the Middle East, seeking a path to peace. In response, Iran’s silence has been deafening,” Bolton said. “There is simply no evidence that Iran has made the strategic decision to renounce nuclear weapons and open realistic discussions to demonstrate that decision.”

But only hours later, Bolton told a news conference that “all options remain on the table” if Iran goes over the limit for its low-enriched uranium stockpile as planned by Thursday.

“It would not be in their interest to do it but they have done a lot of things recently that are not in their interest,” Bolton said.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:52 - GMT 06:52
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