Iran has dismissed Donald Trump’s threats of “consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before” after the US president’s late-night Twitter tirade at the Islamic Republic.
Hostile rhetoric between Washington and Tehran escalated on Sunday after a tit-for-tat between Trump and his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. Trump responded to Rouhani’s warning that the US shouldn’t “play with the lion’s tail” by posting a tweet in capital letters addressed to the Iranian president.
Iranian officials were dismissive of Trump’s tweet, which called on Rouhani to “never, ever threaten the United States” and “be cautious”, but the US president’s remarks provoked jitters in the Iranian market.
The Iranian national currency was sent into a tailspin when trading opened on Monday, exacerbating months-old fluctuations that have prompted protests in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar. The rial, which has been rapidly depreciating against the dollar after Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal in May, hit a fresh all-time low. On Monday, £1 bought 92,000 rials on the black market, though many exchange bureaux had stopped
Senior officials in Tehran were careful to avoid any kneejerk reaction to Trump’s tweet while the state-run news agency Irna said Rouhani’s message was merely a repetition of what the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, had said in the past: “Never threaten an Iranian.” The head of the country’s voluntary basij paramilitary force, Gholamhossein Gharibpour, more forcefully rejected the US president’s rhetoric. “What Trump is saying against Iran is merely psychological warfare. He wouldn’t dare to make the mistake of taking any actions against Iran,” he said. ==============================================
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