Donald Trump Tweets in Persian That Iranians 'Love America' in Twitter Joust With Ayatollah Khamenei

President Donald Trump responded to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, using the Persian language in a tweet on Friday. The president also tweeted an English version of his response.

Translated by Twitter, the tweet by Trump read: "The noble people of Iran, who love America, deserve a government that will help them achieve their dreams, rather than focusing on killing them for revenge. Instead of dragging Iran to ruin, Iran's leaders must put aside the terrorists and magnify Iran again!"

The English version of Trump's tweet included a play on his famous campaign slogan which may have been lost in translation: "Make Iran Great Again!"

Khamenei had earlier tweeted: "The villainous US govt repeatedly says that they are standing by the Iranian ppl. They lie. If you are standing by the Iranian ppl, it is only to stab them in the heart with your venomous daggers. Of course, you have so far failed to do so, & you will certainly continue to fail."

That was in response to Trump and other U.S. officials, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, offering statements of support to Iran's anti-regime protesters.

مردم نجیب ایران، که آمریکا را دوست می دارند، سزاوار دولتی هستند که بیش از تمرکز بر کشتن آنها به جرم احترام خواهی، به آنها کمک کند تا به رؤیاهایشان دست یابند. رهبران ایران به جای آن که ایران را به سمت ویرانی بکشانند، باید هراس افکنی را کنار بنهند و ایران را دوباره باعظمت کنند!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 17, 2020

The latest Twitter exchange followed a rare public sermon by Khamenei on Friday, his first in eight years. Some of the the Iranian leader's remarks were then repeated by his Twitter account.

The Ayatollah criticized American leaders who he said "only pretend to support the Iranian people" but want to "stab them in the heart with your venomous daggers."

Khamenei also criticised the British, French and German governments and accused them of being "the footmen of the US. These 3 countries are the ones who helped Saddam as much as they could in his war against us."

In response, President Trump said: "The so-called 'Supreme Leader' of Iran, who has not been so Supreme lately, had some nasty things to say about the United States and Europe. Their economy is crashing, and their people are suffering. He should be very careful with his words!

Trump went on to say: "The noble people of Iran—who love America—deserve a government that's more interested in helping them achieve their dreams than killing them for demanding respect. Instead of leading Iran toward ruin, its leaders should abandon terror and Make Iran Great Again!"

This was then followed up with the Persian language version of the tweet.

This exchange and the sermon came two weeks after a U.S. drone strike killed Iran's top general, Qassem Soleimani, near Baghdad International Airport, Iraq, on January 3. In retaliation, on January 8, Iran attacked the Ain al-Asad airbase west of Baghdad, which the Pentagon has confirmed injured 11 U.S. military personnel.

While Trump held back on ordering a U.S. counterstrike over the Ain al-Asad airbase attack, he has imposed more sanctions on Iran.

The heightened security status in Iran also resulted in the regime's accidental downing of a commercial jetliner minutes after it departed Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport. All 176 people aboard Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 died. Of the people on board, 82 were Iranian, 63 Canadian, 11 Ukrainian (including nine crewmembers), 10 Swedish, seven Afghan and three German.

In his sermon on Friday, Khamenei expressed his condolences to the families of the victims but then claimed that foreign press tried to manipulate Iranians over the tragedy.

According to Khamenei's English language website, he said: "The plane crash was a bitter accident that truly broke our hearts. The loss of the dear, young people and those who had come here from other countries was a truly heartrending event.

"As much as we were grieved by the tragedy of the plane crash, enemies were happy about it. They tried to question the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic and use it to overshadow the great event. They were mistaken, 'And they planned and Allah (also) planned, and Allah is the best of planners.' [Qur'an 3:54]"

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Trump AP Iran January 8 2020
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks about the situation with Iran in the Grand Foyer of the White House in Washington, D.C., January 8, 2020. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by Saul Loeb /AFP via Getty Images