- The Washington Times - Monday, July 23, 2018

White House National Security Adviser John R. Bolton said Monday that President Trump won’t tolerate any “negative” actions by Iran, as the administration steps up its “maximum pressure” campaign on Tehran.

“I spoke to the President over the last several days, and President Trump told me that if Iran does anything at all to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid before,” Mr. Bolton said in a statement issued by the White House.

His comment came after Mr. Trump tweeted a warning shortly before midnight Sunday to Iranian President Hassan Roujani:

“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!” 

A high-ranking Iranian official responded Monday to Mr. Trump’s warning of possible military action, saying the president “won’t dare” launch an attack on Tehran.

Gen. Gholam Hossein Gheibparvar, chief of a paramilitary arm of the Revolutionary Guard, said Mr. Trump’s threat of historic “consequences” for Iran are nothing more than “psychological warfare.”

In comments reported by Iran’s state-run ISNA news agency, Gen. Gheibparvar said Mr. Trump “won’t dare” attack Iran.

Some Democrats in Congress reacted with alarm to Mr. Trump’s comments.

“President Trump’s belligerent tweet is another alarming warning sign that he’s blundering toward war with Iran,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, Virginia Democrat and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Just months after the president backed out of the deal that prevented Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, the administration’s hostile rhetoric and efforts to stir up internal protests against the regime are dangerous. The U.S. should continue to target Iran with tough sanctions, but we should not get pulled into another preventable war in the Middle East.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. is committed to “undertaking a diplomatic and financial pressure campaign to cut off the funds that the regime uses to enrich itself and support death and destruction.”

“We have an obligation to put maximum pressure on the regime’s ability to generate and move money, and we will do so,” Mr. Pompeo said Sunday night in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California. “At the center of this campaign is the re-imposition of sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors.”

Iranian lawmaker Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh told the Associated Press that believes a military confrontation between Iran and the U.S. is highly unlikely. He said Mr. Trump and Mr. Rouhani merely “express themselves through speeches since diplomatic channels are closed.” The two countries ended diplomatic relations in 1979.

The state-owned news agency belittled Mr. Trump’s warning tweet to Mr. Rouhani, describing it as a “passive reaction.”


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