Obama and Trump.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump boasted that his administration has kept Iran in check where former president Barack Obama had failed to do so in a special interview with Fox & Friends Thursday.
"They used to scream 'death to America,'" Trump said. "They don't scream it anymore. They screamed it with him [Obama], but not with me."
Earlier Thursday, Iran's supreme leader called on Muslim nations to unite against the United States, saying Tehran would never yield to "bullying."
"The Iranian nation has successfully resisted bullying attempts by America and other arrogant powers and we will continue to resist... All Muslim nations should stand united against America and other enemies," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.
Iran's top authority criticized Trump for saying on Tuesday some countries in the Middle East "wouldn't last a week" without US protection.
"Such remarks are a humiliation for Muslims... Unfortunately, there is war in our region between Muslim countries. The backward governments of some Muslim countries are fighting with other countries," Khamenei said.
Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia have long been locked in a proxy war, competing for regional supremacy from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon to Yemen.
President Trump's Fox & Friends
appearance piled on more to the saber-rattling between Middle Eastern powers in recent weeks. Earlier this month, senior Iranian cleric Ali Shirazi threatened to destroy Tel Aviv and Haifa
if Israel takes any "stupid measures," and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman shot back on Thursday.
"If Iran strikes Tel Aviv, Israel will hit Tehran
and destroy any Iranian military site in Syria that threatens Israel," Liberman told London-based Saudi newspaper Elaph
Meanwhile, a top advisor to Khameni announced Thursday that the Islamic Republic will not accept any change to the Iran nuclear deal, as Western signatories of the accord prepare a package that seeks to persuade Trump to save the agreement.
"Any change or amendment to the current deal will not be accepted by Iran... If Trump exits the deal, Iran will surely pull out of it. Iran will not accept a nuclear deal with no benefits for us," Ali Akbar Velayati said.Reuters contributed to this report.