Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mocked the new sanctions imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday as "outrageous and idiotic," saying the administration's efforts to target high-ranking officials indicates that people in the White House don't know what they're doing.
"You sanction the foreign minister simultaneously with a request for talks he would lead," Rouhani said. “The White House is afflicted by mental retardation and does not know what to do.”
The new sanctions signed by Trump on Monday targeted Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, blocking his ability involving property or any other assets Khamenei holds in the U.S. Rhouhani noted that the new restrictions are unlikely to affect the 80-year-old leader, as he isn't using any Western banking accounts to make money. The sanctions also targeted the Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who would be the chief negotiator in any talks between Iran and the U.S.
The war of words between President Donald Trump and President Rouhani escalated Tuesday morning after the president threatened 'obliteration' against the country if Iran attacked anything American.
"Iran leadership doesn’t understand the words “nice” or “compassion,” they never have," Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. "Sadly, the thing they do understand is Strength and Power, and the USA is by far the most powerful Military Force in the world, with 1.5 Trillion Dollars invested over the last two years alone..The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more...
"Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!" Trump added.
The new sanctions come less than a week after Iran shot down a U.S. drone they say violated their airspace, an assertion that the State Department denies. U.S. officials insist that the U.S. surveillance drone was flying over international waters when it was shot down in an "unprovoked" act of aggression.
The United States has also accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, another claim that Iranian officials have denied.
On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi King Salman bin Abdu bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown PrinceMohammed bin Salman"to discuss ways to counter the malign Iranian influence in the region."
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