Donald Trump Threatens 'Obliteration' if Iran Attacks American Targets

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Iran on Tuesday sharply criticized new US sanctions targeting the Islamic Republic's supreme leader and other top officials, saying the measures spell the "permanent closure" for diplomacy between the two nations.

Trump told reporters the sanctions were in part a response to last week's downing of a U.S. drone by Iran, but would have happened anyway.

President Trump on Wednesday said he hopes the U.S. will not go to war with Iran - but that if the two nations end up in military conflict, America's use of force would be overwhelming. You know what, I'll tell you what the message is: When they're ready ... let us know.

"Trump's administration is destroying all the established worldwide mechanisms developed for maintaining world peace and security", Mousavi added.

Rouhani's remarks come after the Iranian foreign ministry said on Tuesday that the new U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran permanently closed the path to diplomacy between Tehran and Washington.

Hassan Rouhani said Donald Trump's policy was one of desperation, calling the White House "mentally retarded".

Mr Trump on Tuesday (June 25) called Mr Rouhani's comments "ignorant" and said that Iran does "not understand reality".

Iran said on Tuesday it will formally withdraw from a nuclear deal with world powers next week, after the U.S. issued tough new sanctions on leaders of the country.

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Last May, Trump pulled out of the multilateral nuclear accord with Iran that was crafted by the administration of President Barack Obama.

If that's the goal, it's a long way off. Trump responded to Rouhani in a tweet Tuesday, warning that a "attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force". The U.S. has sanctioned more than 80 per cent of Iran's economy, according to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, who is in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates this week to rally a front against Iran.

The US Treasury has said it would also blacklist Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif - a figure considered moderate and key architect of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal - and eight top commanders from Iran's Revolutionary Guards.

The top Iranian cleric's website on Wednesday quoted Khamenei as calling the Trump administration "the most sinister" USA government.

The three-way summit in Jerusalem with the American and Russian officials was expected to focus on Iranian involvement in conflicts across the region, particularly in neighboring Syria. Other nations stayed in the deal, which eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.

"The newly announced Iran sanctions are symbolic", said Jarrett Blanc, a former senior state department official now at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The Iranian ambassador to the United Nations told reporters that he had been shut out of a US -led closed-door meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

In May, Iran announced it would suspend two of its pledges under the 2015 deal, giving the agreement's remaining supporters two months to help it circumvent United States sanctions.

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