An Iranian Officer of Revolutionary Guards, with Israel flag drawn on his boots, is seen during graduation ceremony, held for the military cadets in a military academy, in Tehran, Iran June 30, 2018.
(photo credit: TASNIM NEWS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
General Gholamhossein Gheybparvar, a senior Iran Revolutionary Guards officer and commander of the Basij paramilitary forces, responded to US President Donald Trump's tweet warning Iran to "never ever threaten" the United States Monday morning.
"Trump's statement threatening Iran is psychological warfare, and he is making a mistake if he wants to take steps against Iran," Gheybparvar said, according to a report by the semi-official Iranian Student's News Agency.
In a late night Twitter message directed at Rouhani, Trump wrote: "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 & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!"
Trump's message came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave a speech Sunday
saying that hostile policies towards Tehran could lead to "the mother of all wars."
"We will not abandon our revolutionary principles and beliefs, and faced with those who seek our ill, we will remain steadfast and strong," Gheybparvar said.
The general also addressed Iranians opposed to the regime who may see Trump's words as a green light to expand and intensify ongoing protests against the government. "That small group who have been defeated by this crazy president's psychological warfare should know that America will not be satisfied with anything less than our destruction," he said.
"The people and armed forces will stand firm in the face of our enemies, and will not retreat. We believe in the path of happiness and progress, resistance and steadfastness in the face of enemies and those who seek our ill."
Iran has faced increased US pressure and looming sanctions following Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from a 2015 international deal over Iran's nuclear program. Tehran has said its nuclear work is just for electricity generation and other peaceful projects.
In a speech late on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denounced Iran's leaders as a "mafia" and promised unspecified backing for Iranians unhappy with their government.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for Trump's and Pompeo's warnings to Iran in a statement at the cabinet meeting Monday morning.
"I want to praise the harsh stance that Trump and Pompeo took yesterday against Iranian aggression," Netanyahu said. "For years this regime has been coddled by the world's powers, and it is good that the United States is changing things."Reuters contributed to this report.
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