June 25 (UPI) -- Hours after his administration was roundly condemned by the Iranian government Tuesday, President Donald Trump delivered another verbal assault that included direct threats against Tehran amid heightened tensions.
Iranian leaders criticized new U.S. sanctions signed by Trump on Monday by saying it blocks a "path to diplomacy." They also called the U.S. move "idiotic" and "outrageous."
Trump responded on Twitter:
"Iran's very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality," he wrote. "Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration.
"Iran leadership doesn't understand the words 'nice' or 'compassion,'" he added. "Sadly, the thing they do understand is strength and power, and the USA is by far the most powerful military force in the world, with 1.5 trillion dollars invested over the last two years alone.
"The wonderful Iranian people are suffering, and for no reason at all. Their leadership spends all of its money on terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran's use of [bombs], which killed 2,000 Americans, and wounded many more."
The administration has blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Middle East in recent weeks, the latest on June 13 when two tankers were hit with mines in the Gulf of Oman. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said surveillance video shows Iranian military members removing one mine that did not explode -- and Iran's shootdown of a U.S. drone last week nearly drew a military response from Trump.
"Imposing futile sanctions on Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei] and the commander of the country's diplomacy means the permanent closure of the path of diplomacy with the desperate U.S. government," Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said earlier Tuesday.
"Trump's administration is destroying all the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security."
"You, yourself, refused to negotiate, disrupted [talks], reneged on your promises, annulled your own signature and told the world that you have no credulity and 'not to trust us.
"We are not afraid of the U.S., but we've been exercising strategic patience."