President Trump continued his threats to Iran early Friday morning on Twitter, warning that the country was “playing with fire” after it tested a ballistic missile earlier this week.
He delivered the short missive in a burst of Twitter activity:
Later, Mr. Trump weighed in on the recent machete attack at Paris’ Louvre museum and said France was “on edge again.” He urged the U.S. to “GET SMART,” seemingly a response to the wave of criticism his administration had received over a travel ban he signed into existence last week.
French officials have not added more to their initial determination that the machete incident was “terrorist in nature.” Police have said the suspect shouted “God is great” in Arabic during the attack.
(In unrelated tweets Friday, the president also blasted “professional anarchists” and “paid protesters,” an allusion to those who demonstrated against alt-right agitator and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, and praised Australia’s prime minister after he denounced reports of a terse phone call with Mr. Trump.)
Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, fired back with his own series of tweets, calling Iran “unmoved” by Mr. Trump’s warnings and promising that the country would “never initiate war” but would defend itself appropriately.
The Twitter war comes less than a day after the White House’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, told reporters that it was putting Iran “on notice” after the missile launch. According to CBS News’ David Martin, Iran was able to fly the ballistic missile several hundred miles before it exploded.
During a press conference Thursday, the retired general said the Trump administration “condemns such actions by Iran that undermine security, prosperity and stability throughout and beyond the Middle East that puts American lives at risk.”
A U.N. Security Council resolution prohibits the testing of ballistic missiles meant to deliver nuclear warheads. The Obama administration’s brokered 2015 Iran nuclear deal extended the ban for eight more years.
Flynn, during the press conference claimed the Middle Eastern power felt “emboldened” by its treatment from the Obama administration and its negotiations on the landmark nuclear deal.
Since Mr. Trump’s immigration executive order, which halts the U.S. refugee program and prohibits travel to the U.S. for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries (including Iran), tensions have escalated with Iran and other world powers.
In the latest example of retaliation, according to a state-run news agency, Iran on Friday prohibited U.S. wrestlers from competing in the Freestyle World Cup.