US President Donald Trump on Saturday said that Iranian leaders should "abandon terror" and "make Iran great again".
He said, "The noble people of Iran—who love America—deserve a government that's more interested in helping them achieve their dreams than killing them for demanding respect. Instead of leading Iran toward ruin, its leaders should abandon terror and Make Iran Great Again!"
Trump's tweet was a reference to his own slogan, "make America great again."
The noble people of Iran—who love America—deserve a government that's more interested in helping them achieve their dreams than killing them for demanding respect. Instead of leading Iran toward ruin, its leaders should abandon terror and Make Iran Great Again! https://t.co/RLjGsC5WLc— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020
Trump was replying to a Twitter handle -- Khamenei.ir, which is not the official verified handle of Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
The tweet by the handle read: "The villainous US govt repeatedly says that they are standing by the Iranian ppl. They lie. If you are standing by the Iranian ppl, it is only to stab them in the heart with your venomous daggers. Of course, you have so far failed to do so, & you will certainly continue to fail."
Earlier in the day, Trump had said, "The so-called “Supreme Leader” of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe. Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering. He should be very careful with his words!"
Khamenei used his rare appearance at the weekly prayers on Friday to deliver a fiery address in which he insisted Iran would not bow to US pressure after months of crushing sanctions and a series of recent crises — from the killing of a top Iranian general to the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane.
According to Trump, Khamenei's speech, in which he attacked the "vicious" United States and described Britain, France and Germany as "America's lackey's," was a mistake, AFP reported.
He said the mass funerals for General Qassem Soleimani, who was killed in a US airstrike earlier this month, show that the Iranian people support the Islamic Republic despite its recent trials.
In response to Soleimani's killing, Iran launched a barrage of ballistic missiles targeting US troops in Iraq, without causing serious injuries.
Khamenei said the strike had dealt a "blow to America's image" as a superpower.
(With agency inputs)