Trump and Rouhani trade angry threats

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Mr Netanyahu said Mr Trump and his Secretary of State were taking a clear position against "Iranian aggression" after years in which the "regime was pampered by world powers".

US President Donald Trump has told Iran it risked dire consequences "the like of which few throughout history have suffered before" if the Islamic Republic made more threats against the United States.

Iran reacted to Pompeo's speech as interference in its affairs, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. In May, he pulled the US out of a hard-won agreement with Tehran, also signed by Britain, China, France, Germany and Russian Federation, which lifted sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme.

Iran will react with equal countermeasures if Washington tries to block its oil exports, the foreign ministry said on Tuesday, while the Islamic Republic's armed forces chief said us threats would draw an "unimaginable and regrettable" reaction.

Zarif tweeted this afternoon in response, "COLOR US UNIMPRESSED: The world heard even harsher bluster a few months ago".

Rohani said that the pressure has strengthened national unity in the country.

Although Iran and European signatories have been scrambling to save the deal, many Western companies and banks have stopped doing business in Iran amid fears they could be targeted by a reapplication of U.S. sanctions.

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"Call me insane", Mr Pompeo said, "but I'm a little sceptical that a thieving thug under global sanctions is the right man to be Iran's highest-ranking judicial official". And I don't think that's warranted.

"Sometimes it seems the world has become desensitized to the regime's authoritarianism at home and its campaigns of violence overseas, but the proud Iranian people are not staying silent about their government's many abuses", Mr. Pompeo said in a speech at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in California.

But in June, Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the first U.S. "I wouldn't recommend that", John Rood, undersecretary of defense for policy, told a security forum in Colorado on Friday. They were further encouraged in this belief by the view that a Hillary Clinton presidency posed a bigger threat because she would be able to build alliances.

But it's also worth noting that Trump has long spoken about war with Iran in pretty cavalier terms - and in ways that make lodging this threat midway through his first term somewhat hard to totally dismiss as hot air. The sanctions will make any foreign institutions that continue to do business with Iran subject to huge fines and possible blockage from the USA financial system.

There is little interest among United States lawmakers for a conflict with Iran.

"To our Iranian-American and Iranian friends: The Trump Administration dreams the same dreams for the people of #Iran as you do, and through our labors and God's providence they will one day come true", he tweeted.

Secretary of state Mike Pompeo, who on Sunday compared the Iranian government to the "mafia", attempted to assuage the concerns of ordinary citizens. "And the United States under President Trump will not stay silent either".