Rohani Warns Trump: War With Iran 'Is the Mother of All Wars'

'Mr Trump, don't play with the lion's tail, this would only lead to regret,' Rohani says

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani in Vienna, Austria July 4, 2018
\ Lisi Niesner/ REUTERS

Iranian President Hassan Rohani on Sunday cautioned the U.S. President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran, saying "America should know ... war with Iran is the mother of all wars," the semi-official ISNA news agency reported. 

Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats, Rohani said: "Mr Trump, don't play with the lion's tail, this would only lead to regret," ISNA reported. Other Iranian agencies carried similar reports. 

"America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars," Rohani said. 

"You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran's security and interests," Rouhani said, in an apparent reference to reported efforts by Washington to destabilize Iran's Islamic government. 

In Washington, U.S. officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Trump administration has launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear programme and its support of militant groups.

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Current and former U.S. officials said the campaign paints Iranian leaders in a harsh light, at times using information that is exaggerated or contradicts other official pronouncements, including comments by previous administrations.

The comment comes after the Trump administration launched an online campaign to undermine the Iranian regime, in conjunction with a series of sanctions.

The White House has also been reaching out to diaspora Iranians, many of whom fled the country following the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

A U.S. State Department Twitter account has also been set up in Farsi, and propagates articles and messages that are critical of Tehran.

An Iranian official has dismissed the campaign, saying that the U.S. has tried in vain to undermine the government since the revolution in 1979.

"Their efforts will fail again", he said.