U.S. President Donald Trump responded Tuesday to Iran's president mocking him, going so far as to say that the White House is “afflicted by mental retardation.”
The comments by Hassan Rouhani came after the Trump administration sanctioned Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Monday.
Rouhani said the decision meant the “certain failure” of the White House’s efforts. He also criticized U.S. officials for wanting to sanction Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Trump tweeted in a series of three tweets on Tuesday that "Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration. No more John Kerry & Obama!" The latest war of words between the two leaders comes just days after Trump offered to talk "without preconditions."
Trump added that "Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality."
France has reiterated its call for de-escalation and dialogue between the U.S. and Iran, as world leaders prepare for the Group of 20 summit.
Government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye said French diplomats had several high-level contacts in the past weeks with Iranian and American officials looking for ways to ease the tensions.
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France’s President Emmanuel Macron will meet with President Donald Trump at the G20 summit in Japan that starts Friday.
So far, France hasn’t commented on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meetings with Gulf Arab allies about building a global coalition to counter Iran.