Iran’s armed forces chief of staff on Tuesday warned the U.S. of a robust reaction if it continued to threaten Iranian interests.
“They will receive a firm and strong response to an unbelievable degree in the places and interests where they are based in the region and around the world,” said Major General Mohammad Bagheri, according to the official IRNA news agency. “The vain and useless imaginings of the U.S. President will never be realised,” he said.
Washington and Tehran have been trading angry threats since Sunday, when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the U.S. “not to play with the lion’s tail” and that conflict with Iran would be the “mother of all wars”.
His U.S. counterpart Donald Trump responded with an all-caps tirade on Twitter: “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
Mr. Bagheri said Iran had “never instigated war” and “wanted peace and stability in the region”.
But, he added: “All plots against the Iranian people will be strangled at birth and the enemies will receive an unforgettable lesson.”
A few hours after Mr. Trump’s tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had fired back. “COLOR US UNIMPRESSED,” Mr. Zarif wrote in English, mimicking Mr. Trump’s caps-lock message. “We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!”
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