Fresh off imposing another round of harsh sanctions against the Iranian regime, President Donald Trump said Tuesday that Iran would be well advised to think twice before launching a military attack against the United States. An attack, he said, on “anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force.” The president warned that Iran would face “obliteration” if they continued to tread a hostile path with the U.S.

Iran is being equally aggressive in their rhetoric. Faced with a golden opportunity to put their hands up and come to the negotiating table – a table that the Trump administration has invited them to with no strings attached – they have instead chosen a darker, more unstable path. In remarks to the press on Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the White House is “suffering from mental disability” and that there was “no sane person” at the wheel. Guess that means they don’t care to sit down for dinner.

Trump responded, saying: “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Their leadership spends all of its money on Terror, and little on anything else. The U.S. has not forgotten Iran’s use of IED’s & EFP’s (bombs), which killed 2000 Americans, and wounded many more.”

In comments of his own, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed Rouhani’s statement as “a bit immature and childlike.”

Childish though the back and forth may be, there can be no doubt that things are extremely serious when it comes to tensions between the two nations. Iran has been forced into an economic corner with the re-introduction of sanctions, and they know they don’t have many options left. They seem determined to shoot their way out of the corner with attacks on tankers and drones, but it is only a matter of time before they go exactly one step too far in that direction. President Trump, by all indications, is extremely reluctant to commit our troops to war.

But eventually, Iran may leave him with no other choice.