"In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration".
Donald Trump has lashed out at the "ignorant and insulting statement" released by Iran after the USA president announced fresh sanctions against the Middle Eastern nation. According to Tehran, the UAV and P-8 Poseidon spy plane accompanying it had violated the country's border.
Today, Trump responded in kind, lashing Iran's leaders for rejecting his overtures and vowing that "any attack by Iran on anything American" would be answered with overwhelming U.S. military force that "in some areas" would mean "obliteration".
Rouhani and his cabinet run Iran's day-to-day affairs, while Khamenei, in power since 1989, is Iran's ultimate authority.
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said Tuesday that the country is to begin suspending more of its commitments under the nuclear deal from July 7.
Trump said on Monday, "I'll be signing an executive order imposing hard-hitting sanctions on the supreme leader of Iran on the office of the supreme leader of Iran and many others".
The new sanctions by the United States come in the wake of downing of a USA drone by Iran last week. The US withdrew from that deal previous year.
Zarif met former U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson several times before Washington unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed sanctions on Iran.
Last year, Trump withdrew the USA from a 2015 global accord aimed at restricting Tehran's pathway to a nuclear bomb and has since been ramping up sanctions to throttle the Iranian economy.
But at a news conference in Israel on Tuesday, Bolton said that despite the sanctions, the United States still welcomes negotiations with Iran if they plan to "completely and verifiably" eliminate its nuclear weapons program, ballistic missile systems and support for terror networks.
Iran has denied any involvement.
"You can not start a dialogue with someone who is threatening, who is intimidating you", he said, accusing the USA of trying to destroy Iran's economy.
All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the U.S. and Iran into an open conflict, 40 years after the Islamic Revolution.
A year ago the U.S. pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, which relieves worldwide sanctions in exchange for Iran curtailing its nuclear ambitions.
Meanwhile, the USA envoy at the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen, said the Trump administration's aim is to get Tehran back to negotiations.
"In response, Iran's silence has been deafening", he added.
Mr Bolton, meanwhile, reiterated the United States assessment that the drone was not in Iranian airspace.
Tehran will take judicial measures concerning the US move in deploying a "spy drone into Iranian airspace as a violation of the worldwide law", said Laya Joneidi, vice president for legal affairs in the Iranian administration. "Iran itself has threatened to blow through some of the key limits in the nuclear deal".