President Trump shifted his attention to another country overnight, unloading an all-caps threat to Iran via Twitter. "NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE," he wrote. "WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!" As Reuters reports, his tweet came after Iranian President Hasan Rouhani had issued a threat of his own, warning the US not to "play with the lion's tail," adding, “America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars."
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also got into the mix, declaring in a California speech that Iran was led by "hypocritical holy men" similar to a "mafia," reports the Wall Street Journal. All of this is playing out in the aftermath of Trump's May decision to pull out from the nuclear deal orchestrated by former President Obama. As a result, banking sanctions go back into effect on Iran in three weeks and bigger sanctions aimed at its oil market take effect in November, notes the Washington Post. In addition to those looming sanctions, the White House is trying to raise pressure on Iran with what Reuters calls an "offensive of speeches and online communications." The rhetoric is similar to that between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the months before their summit, and one prominent Iranian analyst sees all this as "the storm before the calm," reports the AP.