The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has publicly spoken for the first time since the inauguration of US President Trump. He dismissed the “on notice” decision by the US following the test-firing of a ballistic missile.
On 3rd February, Trump posted a message to Iran on Twitter: “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how “kind” President Obama was to them. Not me!”
Trump then imposed more sanctions on more entities and individuals – some of which are linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
Although the test-firing of the missile at the end of January was not a direct breach of the Iran nuclear deal, it certainly was a violation of the “spirit” of the deal.
On 7th February, Sean Spicer, the White House Press Secretary, said that Iran needs to be aware that there is a new President and that that the United States is not going to watch Tehran pursue its military ambitions without reacting.
Spicer said: “I think the Ayatollah is going to realise there’s a new president in office. This president’s not going to sit by and let Iran flout its violations, or its apparent violations, to the joint agreement, but he will continue to take action as he sees fit.”
Regarding President Trump’s strategy of not projecting how the administration will react, Spicer said: “The president has also made clear time and time again that he’s not going to project what those actions will be, and he’s not going to take anything off the table. But I think Iran is kidding itself if they don’t realise there’s a new president in town.”