Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi on Monday dismissed the recent Israeli anti-Iran threats as a sign of weakness.
"We consider the threats from Jerusalem's occupying regime (Israel) as a sign of weakness," Mousavi said in a statement.
Israeli threats are also "desperate attempts to cover up the crises and domestic problems of its leaders," he added.
Highlighting Iran's ability to protect its national security, the spokesman said his country "will give a crushing regretful response to any act of aggression or stupid action."
On Sunday, the Israeli defense minister warned Iran against continued presence in Syria, saying Israel will "work tirelessly" to prevent the establishment of a stable Iranian military presence in the Arab country.
Moreover, Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz said the Israeli government was considering military action against Iran should it pursue nuclear military capability.
Iran has repeatedly said its presence in Syria is of advisory nature for the government of President Bashar al-Assad, and its nuclear program is civilian.
North Korea insulted U.S. President Donald Trump again on Monday, calling him a "heedless and erratic old man" after he tweeted that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wouldn't want to abandon a special relationship between the two leaders and affect the American presidential election by resuming hostile acts.
A senior North Korean official, former nuclear negotiator Kim Yong Chol, said in a statement that his country wouldn't cave in to U.S. pressure because it has nothing to lose and accused the Trump administration of attempting to buy time ahead of an end-of-year deadline set by Kim Jong Un for Washington to salvage nuclear talks.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted: "Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way ... North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, has tremendous economic potential, but it must denuclearize as promised."
He was referring to a vague statement issued by the two leaders during their first summit in Singapore in June last year that called for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula without describing when or how it would occur.
Trump added that Kim "does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November."
Kim Yong Chol said Trump's tweets clearly show that he is an irritated old man "bereft of patience."
"As (Trump) is such a heedless and erratic old man, the time when we cannot but call him a 'dotard' again may come," Kim Yong Chol said.
"Trump has too many things that he does not know about (North Korea). We have nothing more to lose. Though the U.S. may take away anything more from us, it can never remove the strong sense of self-respect, might and resentment against the U.S. from us."
Kim Yong Chol traveled to Washington and met with the U.S. president twice last year while setting up the summits with Kim Jong Un.
Nuclear negotiations faltered after a February meeting between Trump and Kim in Vietnam broke down when the U.S. side rejected North Korean demands for broad sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities.
Kim has said North Korea will seek a "new way" if the U.S. maintains its sanctions and pressure, and issued the deadline for the Trump administration to offer mutually acceptable terms for a deal.
Trump and Kim met for a third time in June at the border between the two Koreas and agreed to resume talks. But an October working-level meeting in Sweden broke down over what the North Koreans described as the Americans' "old stance and attitude."
Kim Yong Chol's statement came days after North Korea's first vice foreign minister, Choe Sun Hui, issued a similar threat to resume insulting Trump after he spoke during a NATO summit in London of possible military action toward the North and revived his "rocket man" nickname for Kim Jong Un.
In 2017, Trump and Kim traded threats of destruction as North Korea carried out a slew of high-profile weapons tests aimed at acquiring an ability to launch nuclear strikes on the U.S. mainland. Trump said he would rain "fire and fury" on North Korea and derided Kim as "little rocket man," while Kim questioned Trump's sanity and said he would "tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire."
The two leaders avoided such words and developed better relations after North Korea entered nuclear negotiations with the U.S. last year. Trump even said he and Kim "fell in love," but his comments on Kim have become sharper in recent weeks amid the standoff in nuclear negotiations.
North Korea in recent weeks has said it is unwilling to continue rewarding Trump with meetings and summits he could chalk up as foreign policy wins unless it gets something substantial in return. The North's stance has raised doubts about whether Kim will ever voluntarily give away a nuclear arsenal he may see as his biggest guarantee of survival.
On Sunday, North Korea's Academy of National Defense said a "very important test" was conducted at a long-range rocket facility on the country's western coast, touching off speculation that the North could have tested a new rocket engine for either a satellite-launch vehicle or a solid-fuel intercontinental-range missile.
Iran is ready for more prisoner swaps with the United States, the Cabinet spokesman said Monday even as he reiterated the Iranian leadership's stance that there will be no other negotiations between Tehran and Washington.
The remarks by the spokesman, Ali Rabiei, were the first after a prisoner exchange over the weekend saw Iran free a Chinese-American scholar from Princeton who had been held for three years on widely criticized espionage charges.
The scholar, Chinese-American graduate student Xiyue Wang, was freed in exchange for Iranian scientist Massoud Soleimani who had faced a federal trial in Georgia over charges he violated sanctions by trying to have biological material brought to Iran.
"We are ready to cooperate to return all Iranians unlawfully imprisoned in the U.S.," Rabiei told reporters at a briefing in Tehran. He said however that there will be no other negotiations with the U.S. beside this issue.
Rabiei said any further negotiations would be possible through the so-called 5+1 framework — a reference to the five permanent U.N. Security Council members plus Germany — under the condition that the U.S. first lift sanctions on Iran.
Saturday's exchange was negotiated indirectly and took place in Switzerland, which looks after U.S. interests in Iran as Tehran and Washington have no diplomatic ties. The swap raised hopes of other similar actions and was seen as a rare diplomatic breakthrough between Tehran and Washington after months of tensions. But it was unclear if it would have any effect on Iranian-U.S. relations.
Crushing U.S. sanctions on Iran blocking it from selling crude oil abroad remain in place, part of President Donald Trump's maximum pressure campaign imposed following his unilateral withdraw from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers last year. Those sanctions in part fueled the anger seen in nationwide protests last month that Iranian security forces violently put down.
Amnesty International says that over 200 people were killed in the crackdown though Iran has offered no death toll or any other figures related to the unrest.
There are other Western detainees from the U.S. and elsewhere who remain held in Iran and who could be used as bargaining chips for future negotiations.
Others held in Iran include U.S. Navy veteran Michael White, who is serving a 10-year espionage sentence, as well as environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, an Iranian with U.S. and British citizenship also initially sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Also in Iran are 83-year-old Baquer Namazi and his son, Siamak Namazi, dual Iranian-American nationals facing 10-year sentences after they were convicted of collaborating with a hostile power. Baquer Namazi now is on a prison furlough. However, the Namazis say he remains unable to leave Iran.
Former FBI agent Robert Levinson, who vanished in Iran in 2007 while on an unauthorized CIA mission, remains missing as well. Iran says that Levinson is not in the country and that it has no further information about him, but his family holds Tehran responsible for his disappearance.
At least 26 people have been killed in floods unleashed by heavy rains in different parts of Uganda, the Red Cross said on Monday as authorities urged people in affected areas to relocate.
Seventeen flooding deaths have been confirmed in the western district of Bundibugyo. Another nine people have died in the mountainous districts of Sironko and Bududa in the east, where residents also face mudslides that can destroy entire enclaves, said Irene Nakasiita, a spokeswoman for the Uganda Red Cross.
Ugandan government officials have acknowledged the continuing threat from flooding and say relief is forthcoming to affected areas. Residents are being urged to move away from areas where rivers and streams have burst their banks.
More than 6,000 people have been displaced in Bududa, a rugged area in the foothills of Mount Elgon where mudslides have killed hundreds of people over the years. Some there have resisted the government's attempts to have them relocated to lowlands elsewhere, saying they find it hard to vacate their ancestral lands.
"The risk of more flooding and landslides is real," Musa Ecweru, the government minister in charge of disasters, said in a statement Thursday.
Hundreds of acres of plantations have been destroyed and an unknown number of livestock lost in the flooding and mudslides in Bududa and Sironko, Eweru said.
In March 2010 at least 100 people died in mudslides in Bududa, and injuries or deaths have been reported every year since then during the wet season.
Hong Kong police say they have made 6,022 arrests and fired nearly 16,000 tear gas rounds during six months of anti-government protests that have shaken the city.
Police say the arrests included 11 people detained in raids over the weekend that netted a pistol and other weapons. Police suspect the weapons were intended for use during a demonstration attended by hundreds of thousands of peaceful marchers on Sunday.
Police also arrested 12 people on Monday suspected of preparing gasoline bombs.
Police said they have also fired 10,000 rubber baton rounds during the six months of protests and that 493 officers have been injured.