Trump threatens “obliteration” as Iran slams sanctions on Khamenei.

US President Donald Trump has said has threatened Iran with “obliteration” if the country launches any attack on American forces in the Middle East region.

In a Twitter rant on Tuesday railing against the Islamic Republic, Trump said, “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality.”

“Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!” he added.



Iran warned on Tuesday that new US sanctions targeting Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top Iranian military commanders meant “closing the doors of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington.

Meanwhile, Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday denounced the Trump administration as being “afflicted by mental retardation.”

Rouhani also called the sanctions against the Leader “outrageous and idiotic.”

‘I don’t need congressional approval to strike Iran’

Earlier, Trump said that he does not need congressional approval to strike Iran, rejecting House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that any American military action against the Islamic Republic required approval from Congress.

The US president made the remarks in an exclusive interview with Hill.TV outside the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on Monday.

When asked if he believes he has the authority to launch war against Iran without congressional approval, Trump said, “I do.”

“But we’ve been keeping Congress abreast of what we’re doing … and I think it’s something they appreciate,” he said. “I do like keeping them abreast, but I don’t have to do it legally.”

“We were pretty close to maybe making a decision to strike. Then I decided not to do it. Nobody went out, by the way. I was going to make that decision by a certain time, and I decided not to do it because it wasn’t really proportional,” Trump added.

Trump disputed Pelosi’s assertion that he would need congressional approval for any “hostilities” against Iran.

“I disagree,” he said. “Most people seem to disagree.”

“They have ideas. They’re intelligent people. They’ll come up with some thoughts,” Trump said, referring to members of Congress. “I actually learned a couple of things the other day when we had our meeting with Congress.”

Many in Washington expected Trump to take military action against Iran in response to the recent downing of a US surveillance drone by Iranian forces, especially since he had already sent an aircraft carrier strike group, several long-range bombers and even more American troops to the region.

However, despite calling it a “very big mistake” by Tehran, Trump backed out of the war rhetoric he had spewed over the past few months and even thanked Iran for not downing a “manned” plane that was flying in Iranian airspace around the same time.

Trump also warned that with the US military “rebuilt,” military action was always possible. He even noted that he was ready for direct talks without any preconditions.

On Monday, Trump announced new sanctions against Iran targeting the Leader and top commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

After signing the executive order regarding sanctions, Trump said, “We will continue to increase pressure on Tehran, until the regime abandons its dangerous activities.”

But then he added, “We do not seek conflict with Iran or any other country.”

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