AN Iranian general has taunted Donald Trump, telling him he “wouldn’t dare” attack them, after the US president threatened the Muslim nation in an angry all-caps tweet.
Trump, 72, vowed unprecedented “consequences” against Iran if it threatened the US but General Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar shrugged it off as “psychological warfare”.
He told the state-run IRNA new agency: “America wants nothing less than [to] destroy Iran … [but] Trump cannot do a damn thing against Iran.”
Major General Mohammad Bagheri was quoted as saying Iran’s response would be “strong, unimaginable and regrettable”.
The report also accused Trump of copying Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who has previously warned the West to “never threaten an Iranian”.
Trump was responding to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who said: “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.”
The former reality TV star responded with a late night tweet on Sunday, writing: “Never, ever threaten the United States again.
“…Or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before.
“We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence and death. Be cautious!”
The White House said Trump’s threatening tweet shows he was not going to tolerate critical rhetoric from Iran but claimed he was not trying to escalate tensions between the two countries.
Press secretary Sarah Sanders said “if anybody is inciting anything, look no further than to Iran”.
She also said he was not trying to divert attention from his much-criticised Helsinki summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.
Sanders declined to say whether Trump had consulted with national security advisers before sending the tweet, adding: “The president consults with his national security team on a daily basis.”
A prominent Lebanese analyst said he was concerned the latest harsh words exchanged by the US and Iran may have brought the two countries to the brink of war.
Read more about the situation in Iran
Kamel Wazne said Iran cannot trust America after Trump pulled his country out of the nuclear deal with world powers and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.
Wazne says Iran could well go to war to protect its oil exports – the foundation of its economy.
He added: “Iran has said very clearly that any war with them will be very costly, and this means American bases throughout the region could be a target.”