War of words emanates from Tehran after Pompeo speech to Iranian Americans

The Latest: Schumer chides Trump for heated rhetoric on Iran

Protests have mounted in recent weeks in Iran, as the country struggles with an economic crisis that has grown more severe since President Trump's decision in May to pull the US out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on the country.

Terming previous Obama deal as "one-sided", Trump says he's ready for Iran to come back to negotiation table.

In retaliation, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday warned Trump to "be cautious".

"This is a moment in history".

The saber-rattling began when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani cautioned Trump not to "play with the lion's tail", saying that conflict with Iran would trigger the "mother of all wars" - prompting the furious salvo from the U.S. leader.

Trump earlier this year pulled the United States out of the worldwide deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon and ordered increased American sanctions.

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In a tweet on late Sunday, Trump warned his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani that if Tehran threatened the United States again, it would suffer "consequences the likes of which few have ever suffered before". A more significant set of sanctions that will hit Iran's oil industry and central bank by punishing countries and companies that do business with them will resume November 4.

He said: "The level of corruption and wealth among regime leaders shows that Iran is run by something that resembles the Mafia more than a government".

The Republican leader's response was reminiscent of the belligerent tone he took with North Korea a year ago. "This will take you nowhere", he said.

A senior commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guard was quoted in Iranian media saying "Iran will resist pressure from the enemies" and that Trump's threats against the country amounted to "psychological warfare", Reuters reported. But that approach faces an uncertain future now that Washington has withdrawn from the nuclear deal with Iran, and quickly moved to use its tremendous economic leverage to pressure all other nations to stop importing Iranian oil, the life-blood of the Iranian economy.

"America wants nothing less than [to] destroy Iran" but "Trump can not do a damn thing against Iran", the commander added. Analysts say activists inside Iran see a connection between the worldwide tensions and the worsening economics. And apparently firing back at reports that the U.S. was actively trying to destabilize Iran's leadership, he said, "You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran's security and interests".

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