By ICEJ News

U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted a strong warning to Iranian leaders over the weekend to be “cautious” in threatening the US or face consequences “few throughout history have ever suffered before.” The tweet came in response to Iranian President Hassan Rohani’s speech on Sunday in which he said “America should know peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” Other officials in both countries also issued rhetorical threats amidst an atmosphere of escalating tensions.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also gave a speech in California on Sunday in which he referred to Iran’s leaders as “hypocritical holy men” adding that relatively moderate figures like Rohani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are “merely polished front men for the ayatollah’s international con artistry. Their nuclear deal didn’t make them moderates. It made them wolves in sheep’s clothing.”

In related news, 11 members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps were killed in an exchange of fire with unidentified gunmen at a post on the northern Iraqi border on Saturday. A provincial official described the incident as an attack by the Kurdish Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) faction.

Also on Sunday, several large earthquakes struck western Iran, injuring scores of people, according to health officials.

Finally, street protests continued in Iraq over the weekend as health officials reported that 11 people have already been killed in increasingly violent clashes with security forces. The demonstrations are being held to protest a variety of issues, with Iran’s meddling in its internal affairs being widely held as one of the major causes of discontent.