US President Donald Trump said on Friday that Iran President Hassan Rouhani "better be careful" after Rouhani was quoted as saying that anyone who speaks to Iranians with threats would regret it.
Trump was asked in a brief appearance in the press cabin aboard Air Force One about Rouhani's reported remarks to a rally in Tehran to celebrate the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution.
Rouhani was quoted in media reports as saying Iran had shown in the 38 years since the revolution that "it will make anyone who speaks to Iranians with the language of threats regret it."
"He better be careful," Trump simply said, appearing to resume his tone that is considerably hardened compared to his predecessor Barack Obama.
Yesterday, Iranians held enormous rallies with regular chants of "Death to America!" and carrying pictures of Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and British Prime Minister Theresa May, screaming "Death to the devil triangle!" in reference to the three world leaders.
Leading religious and political figures, including President Hassan Rouhani, had urged Iranians to join the rally on Friday to "show their unbreakable ties with the Supreme Leader and the Islamic Republic".
"Some inexperienced figures in the region and America are threatening Iran … They should know the language of threats has never worked with Iran," Rouhani told the crowd at Azadi Square. "We are not seeking tension but we are united before bullying and any threat."
"This turnout of people is a strong response to false remarks by the new leaders of America," Rouhani told state TV, which said millions had turned out at rallies across Iran.
Trump on 2 February put Iran "on notice" over charges that Tehran violated a nuclear deal with the West by test-firing a ballistic missile, taking an aggressive posture toward Iran that could raise tensions in the region.
Trump made the comments about Rouhani while flying on the presidential jet carrying him and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for a weekend at Trump's Mar-a-Lago retreat in Palm Beach, Florida.