(CNSNews.com) – As the Iranian regime responded to President Trump’s fiery warning tweet, one official issued a veiled threat against 50,000 U.S. troops within range of Iranian weapons, another reminded him of the rise and fall of empires, and a media mouthpiece envisaged the president facing divine retribution for threatening a country whose laws are based on Allah’s commandments.
The regime also complained about a speech Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California on Sunday night, accusing him of interfering in Iran’s internal affairs. There was no official reaction to Pompeo’s allegations of financial corruption against named senior officials and ayatollahs, including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump’s tweet late Sunday night warned President Hassan Rouhani never again to threaten the United States, “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 & death,” he said in the all-upper case tweet. “Be cautious!”
Trump was responding to a speech in Tehran earlier in the day, in which Rouhani advised Trump not to “play with the lion’s tail” and said that a war with Iran would be “the mother of all wars.”
There was no public reaction from Khamenei or Rouhani, but one prominent regime figure who did respond was Mohsen Rezai, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who for the past two decades has been secretary of the Expediency Council, a body that advises Khamenei.
“Iran’s sword is hanging over the heads of more than 50,000 of your troops, and you are threatening this madly,” he said in a Farsi-language tweet directed at Trump. “You be cautious.”
U.S. military personnel are deployed in a number of countries in the region, with the largest contingents stationed in Afghanistan, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq.
Rezai was IRGC commander from 1981 until 1997, one of the regime’s most powerful men. He is one of several senior Iranians wanted by Argentinian authorities – and the subject of an Interpol red notice – on suspicion of involvement in the worst terror attack in that country’s history: the 1994 suicide truck bombing of the AMIA Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which cost 85 lives.
Reaction also came from Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, also on Twitter, and pointedly also using upper case for some of the tweet.
“COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago. And Iranians have heard them – albeit more civilized ones – for 40 yrs,” Zarif tweeted. “We’ve been around for millennia & seen fall of empires, incl our own, which lasted more than the life of some countries.”
He ended by mimicking Trump: “BE CAUTIOUS!”
(Persia was ruled by a succession of monarchies and dynasties for more than 2,500 years, from Cyrus the Great until the Islamic revolution deposed the last Shah in 1979.)
In an unsigned commentary Monday Kayhan, a hardline paper whose editor is appointed by the supreme leader, described Trump as “a maniac aspiring to be a modern Pharaoh, little knowing that his wealth and his weapons are useless the moment Divine Wrath strikes him for threatening a country whose laws are based on the commandments of God Almighty.”
Broadening its attack, the Kayhan writer took aim at “the team of thugs he has assembled in the White House,” labeling Pompeo a “gangster,” National Security Advisor John Bolton a “mustachioed bozo” and Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley a “hag.”
Commenting on Pompeo’s speech in California, the writer claimed the secretary of state had elicited “vociferous boos” from the audience when he criticized the regime. (In fact the audience gave Pompeo’s address an enthusiastic reception, and the only evident booing was directed at a lone heckler who sought to draw attention to an issue unrelated to the speech.)
In other regime reaction, Iran Daily quoted Qolam-Hossein Qeibparvar, head of the notorious Basij volunteer militia, as saying Trump “wouldn’t dare make the mistake of taking any action against Iran.”
Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Amir Hatami said Iran’s “enemies” only understand the language of force, the Fars news agency reported. Speaking at the launch of a new missile production line, he said the Islamic republic “has proved that it will give a firm response to any arrogant power with excessive demands.”
Fars quoted senior Iranian Navy commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari as warning the Americans that “we can jump down on their throat in some places in a way that they, themselves, do not believe.”
In recent weeks the regime has repeatedly made reference to its ability to block oil shipments in the Persian Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz if looming U.S. sanctions target Iranian oil exports.
“The Strait of Hormuz region should be either safe for everybody or unsafe for everybody,” Iranian Army ground force commander Brig. Gen. Kiomars Heidari said on Sunday.
Meanwhile Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi called Pompeo’s speech “disgraceful and hypocritical.”
“The Iranians have never given in to the foreigners’ bullying policies and do not care about the policies of the U.S. president and the minority in the country who seek to wage war and are not committed to moral and human principles.”
Qassemi did not say anything about Pompeo’s accusations that some regime officials and religious leaders were enriching themselves as the expense of the Iranian people. He likened them to “the mafia.”
In a separate article Keyhan alluded briefly to that portion of Pompeo’s speech, accusing him of repeating “rumors and falsehoods” spread by fugitives who had fled the country.