Trump tweets as U.S. ramps up pressure on Iran

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting with Muslim leaders and scholars in Hyderabad India

US President Donald Trump seemed to backpedal a bit on Tuesday when he suggested in a speech that his administration could make a "real deal" with Iran.

But Trump's bellicose, all-caps challenge addressed to President Hassan Rouhani followed a speech by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in which he accused Iran's leadership of massive corruption and widespread rights abuses and urged Iranians to rise up in protest.

The Trump administration has threatened to reimpose sanctions on Iran and the looming penalties could further escalate tensions between the US and its European allies who have expressed the desire to keep the terms of the nuclear deal.

In touting his defense build-up, Trump also maintained tough talk toward Iran and others. Iran's oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of new U.S. sanctions, putting oil markets under huge strain amid supply outages elsewhere. As part of that move, the Trump administration last month said all countries must stop importing Iranian oil by November or face sanctions. "This especially goes for our allies in the Middle East and Europe, people who have themselves been terrorized by violent regime activity for decades", said Pompeo.

"The United States condemns the oppression levied on the Iranian people by those who rule unjustly", he said. "They are stealing from the people in Iran", U.S. Sen. He also held out the possibility of a peaceful relationship with the U.S., in remarks reported by Iranian state media.

"I would like to praise the strong stance expressed yesterday by President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Pompeo against the Iranian regime's aggression", he said.

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The timing of Trump's heated remarks also raised the question of why he chose to issue his tweet late Sunday - after a week of negative attention for his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last Monday, and the revelation that his former attorney Michael Cohen recorded him in 2016 discussing payments to a woman who claimed she had an affair with Trump.

A top Iranian official played down the campaign, saying Washington had sought in vain to undermine the government since the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Blocking world leaders on Twitter won't silence them, but it would certainly hamper necessary discussion around their words and actions, the company said.

With Rouhani's threat of retaliation against any potential attack against Iran, he also offered a message of peace - expressing a desire to come to agreeable terms with the U.S.

"We'll definitely defeat the United States", he said.

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