DUBAI - Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei dismissed US President Donald Trump's warning to Tehran to stop its missile tests, and called on Iranians to respond to Trump's "threats" on Friday's anniversary of the 1979 revolution.
"No enemy can paralyze the Iranian nation," Khamenei was quoted as saying by his website in a meeting with military commanders in Tehran.
"Trump says 'you should be afraid of me'. No! The Iranian people will respond to his words on Feb 10, (the anniversary of revolution) and will show their stance against such threats."
In his first speech following Trump's inauguration, Khamenei also charged that Trump has shown America's "real face" by proving Iranian allegations about American government corruption.
"We are thankful to [Trump] for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America," he said.
"During his election campaign and after that, he confirmed what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the US ruling system," he added.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have intensified after the Trump administration announced new sanctions targeting Iran’s ballistic-missile program.
The US issued the new penalties in response to several Iranian missile launches that international powers say are in violation of Iran’s obligations.
Iran responded forcefully, proceeding with a military exercise that further tested its missile radar capabilities.
Iran’s officials vowed to continue launching “roaring missiles,” which they characterized as defensive in nature.
And they targeted US President Donald Trump himself calling him “reckless” and inexperienced.
Trump said on Twitter that Iran was “playing with fire.” And, in a statement, US National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said Iran’s “belligerent and lawless” behavior across the Middle East had only increased since it agreed to a deal with six foreign nations meant to govern its nuclear program for more than a decade.
“The international community has been too tolerant of Iran’s bad behavior. The ritual of convening a United Nations Security Council in an emergency meeting and issuing a strong statement is not enough,” Flynn said.
Iran last Saturday condemned the US visa ban against Tehran and six other majority-Muslim countries as an "open affront against the Muslim world and the Iranian nation" and vowed to retaliate.