Following Trump’s warning, Iran’s FM tweets back: ‘Be Cautious!’
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Following Trump’s warning, Iran’s FM tweets back: ‘Be Cautious!’

After American president advises Tehran to ‘never ever threaten the United States,’ Zarif responds: ‘We’ve been around for millennia and seen the fall of empires’

In this April 24, 2018, photo, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew,)
In this April 24, 2018, photo, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew,)

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!”

Mimicking Trump’s bellicose Twitter threat directed at Iran’s leaders the previous day, Zarif wrote: “UNIMPRESSED… We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries. BE CAUTIOUS!”

Zarif was responding to Trump’s tweet on Sunday, in which he warned: “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”

That was assumed to be a response to a speech by President Hassan Rouhani earlier in the day warning Washington not to “play with the lion’s tail” and that conflict with Iran would be the “mother of all wars.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani listens during a joint press conference with Austrian President following talks on July 4, 2018 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna. (AFP PHOTO / APA / GEORG HOCHMUTH)

“The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago,” Zarif said of Trump’s tweet. “And Iranians have heard them — albeit more civilized ones — for 40 yrs.”

Earlier in the day a high-ranking Iranian officer said Trump’s warnings were nothing but “psychological warfare.”

Gen. Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar, the chief of the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard’s volunteer Basij force, said Trump “won’t dare” take any military action against Iran.

The White House said Trump’s threatening tweet shows he’s not going to tolerate critical rhetoric from Iran, but claimed the US leader wasn’t escalating tensions between the two countries.

US Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that “if anybody’s inciting anything, look no further than to Iran.” Sanders said Trump has been “very clear about what he’s not going to allow to take place.”

US President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 17, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / NICHOLAS KAMM)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commended Trump’s “tough stand” against Iran.

“I would like to praise the tough stand expressed yesterday by President Trump and Secretary of State (Mike) Pompeo against the aggression of the Iranian regime,” Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting.

“Over the years, this regime has been spoiled by the major powers and it is good to see that the US is changing this unacceptable equation.”

Trump’s comments came after Pompeo, in a major address to the Iranian diaspora in California, said Washington was not afraid to sanction top-ranking leaders of the “nightmare” Iranian regime.

Netanyahu lobbied hard to have the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers cancelled, and Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement in May.

All other parties to the deal — Russia, Britain, France, Germany and China — have sought to keep the deal in effect, saying it is working as intended by preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons for now.

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