An Iranian military commander said yesterday that Donald Trump should address any threats against Tehran directly to him, and mocked the U.S. president as using the language of "night clubs and gambling halls". The comments by Major-General Qassem Soleimani, who heads the Quds Force of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards Corps, were the latest salvo in a war of words between the two countries.
"As a soldier, it is my duty to respond to Trump's threats. If he wants to use the language of threat, he should talk to me, not to the president [Hassan Rouhani]," Soleimani was quoted as saying by the Iranian Young Journalists' Club.
Soleimani's message was in essence a warning to the United States to stop threatening Iran with war or risk exposing itself to an Iranian response.
"We are near you, where you can't even imagine...Come. We are ready. If you begin the war, we will end the war," Tasnim news agency quoted Soleimani as saying.
On Sunday night, Trump said in a tweet directed at Rouhani: "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 day earlier, Rouhani had addressed Trump in a speech, saying that hostile U.S. policies could lead to "the mother of all wars."