Donald Trump isn’t the only head of state who likes to let off some steam on the weekends by trolling his enemies on Twitter.
Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei is right there with him. American leaders are “oppressive,” “hounding,” “cruel,” “corrupt,” “bullying” “liars,” Khamenei said in a pointedly English-language Twitter rant on Sunday.
Borrowing Trump’s mercurial approach of issuing vague threats on social media, the supreme leader warned the U.S. had better not make a “#WrongMove” on the 2015 nuclear deal, or it will risk facing “Iran’s response.”
The landmark agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program reached by Barack Obama two years ago appears to be lurching toward collapse, with both the U.S. and Iran accusing the other side of undermining the terms.
As world leaders head to New York for a United Nations General Assembly this week, 76 current and former European politicians and diplomats signed a letter urging the United States not to back off the Iran deal.
“Would it make sense to precipitate a second nuclear crisis alongside that with North Korea?” asked the letter, signed by George Robertson, the former Secretary General of NATO, and Desmond Browne, the former UK minister of defense.
Their fears appear well-grounded. Trump, who railed against the “worst deal ever” on the campaign trail, has said he doesn’t expect to renew the deal again this October, as he did twice already in April and July. Trump’s own Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, has openly acknowledged disagreeing with his boss’s position, and supports renewing the treaty.
On Monday, Trump planned a closed meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu during which Netanyahu is widely expected to lobby Trump to abandon or rewrite the deal.
“This agreement should be changed,” Netanyahu said before the meeting. “It should be changed so that the removal of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program should be not a matter of [a] change [in] the calendar, but a change in Iran’s aggressive behavior. They must stop their aggression. They must stop their terror in the Middle East and everywhere else.”
Tillerson said Sunday that Iran is in “technical compliance” with the terms of the deal. But he accused Iran of violating the spirit of the agreement by undermining regional stability in Yemen and Syria and pursuing a ballistic missile program.
“None of that, I would believe, is consistent with that preamble commitment that was made by everyone,” Tillerson said.
The International Atomic Energy Agency has previously confirmed that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the deal.