On Monday morning after President Trump issued a fiery tweet targeting the Iranian leadership after they threatened the United States, White House National Security Adviser John Bolton released a statement supporting the president’s rhetoric:
The White House just issued this statement from John Bolton. “I spoke to the President over the last several days, and President Trump told me that if Iran does anything at all to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid before.”
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 23, 2018
As The Guardian reported, Trump’s tweet sent the Iranian rial plunging downward:
His attack sent the Iranian national currency into a tailspin when trading opened on Monday, exacerbating months-old fluctuations that have prompted protests in Tehran’s Grand Bazaar.
The rial, which has been rapidly depreciating against the dollar after Trump pulled the US out of the nuclear deal in May, hit a fresh all-time low. On Monday, $1 bought 92,000 rials on the black market, though many exchange bureaux had stopped trading.
The Trump Administration’s rhetoric has been increasingly blunt toward Iran in recent days; on Sunday, speaking at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed the Iranian ayatollahs after reports surfaced that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei had a personal off-the-books hedge fund worth $95 billion that goes untaxed and is used as a “slush fund” by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Crops (IRGC). Pompeo stated:
The ayatollahs are in on the act, too. Judging by their vast wealth they seem more concerned with riches than religion. These hypocritical holy men have devised all kinds of crooked schemes to become some of the wealthiest men on earth while their people suffer. … The level of corruption and wealth among Iranian leaders shows that Iran is run by something that resembles the Mafia more than a government.