Iran’s Supreme Leader has hit back at Donald Trump’s suggestion the Gulf nation was now “on notice” over missile tests, mocking the new president as the “real face” of American corruption.
In his first address since Mr Trump was sworn in, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged Iranians to show they weren’t frightened of American “threats” by taking to the streets for demonstrations
commemorating the country’s 1979 Islamic revolution.
“We are thankful to him [Mr Trump] for making our life easy as he showed the real face of America,” he told military commanders, according to Reuters.
After a January 29 missile test, Mr Trump said Iran had been “formally put on notice”, with the White House placing fresh sanctions on Tehran.
Ayatollah Khamenei said Mr Trump had confirmed “what we have been saying for more than 30 years about the political, economic, moral and social corruption in the US ruling system”.
“[Mr Trump] says ‘you should be afraid of me’. No! The Iranian people will respond to his words on Febuary 10 and will show their stance against such threats,” Khamenei said.
Trump’s education pick confirmed
Meanwhile, the US Senate confirmed President Donald Trump’s controversial pick for education secretary Betsy DeVos despite united opposition from the Democrats.
Vice-President Mike Pence used his casting vote to break the 50-50 tie to confirm Ms DeVos, a wealthy long-time donor to the Republican Party who is accused of opposing public education.
Critics say Ms DeVos will destroy public educating by promoting voucher programs for private schools among other measures.
But Mr Trump accused the Democrats of trying to keep the “failed status quo”.
“Betsy DeVos is a reformer, and she is going to be a great Education Sec. for our kids!” his official presidential account said on Twitter.
Two Republicans voted against Ms DeVos, meaning the vice-president had to break the split vote for the first time in US history.
Calls to cut legal immigration
Two Republican senators have moved to halve the number of legal immigrants accepted into the US.
Under a bill proposed by Tom Cotton and David Perdue, the number of people granted US residency would be cut from 1 million to 500,000 each year.
The senators say they have consulted Mr Trump over the proposal, which would tighten rules around which relatives can be brought into the US, and scrap a diversity visa lottery.
Senator Cotton said the bill was aimed at protecting job opportunities for less-educated workers.
“Unless we reverse this trend, we are going to create a near-permanent underclass for whom the American dream is always just out of reach,” he said.