Rumors of War: Trump Issues Shocking Warning to Iran
A day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the United States that we would invite the “mother of all wars” by engaging in conflict with the Islamic Republic, President Donald Trump took to Twitter with a warning of his own that left little room for creative interpretation.
“To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH,” Trump wrote on Sunday. “BE CAUTIOUS!”
The hot rhetoric recalls Trump’s “fire and fury” warning to North Korea last year. That was part of a back-and-forth with the reclusive regime that ultimately resulted in a major summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un last month. We can only hope that Trump’s strategy with Iran is to force the Islamists into a similar crouching stance, upon which he can build a brand new nuclear agreement – one that actually does what it’s intended to do. While the world would almost certainly be better off with the removal of the Iranian regime, the lessons of the Iraq debacle are a little too fresh in our minds to want to see the U.S. go rushing into conflict.
For his part, Rouhani started rattling the saber this weekend as he addressed U.S. sanctions against Iranian exports. He threatened to disrupt oil shipments to Iran’s regional buyers should the U.S. block its exports. He then warned that there would be hell to pay if the U.S. attempted to escalate any conflict beyond the already-established sanctions.
Rhetoric of the sort Rouhani unleashed on Saturday is uncommon from the “moderate” president. Clearly, he is feeling the economic heat from within his own country, a situation that has protesters in the streets and the Iranian rial sinking to oblivion. It has also emboldened the hardliners within Iran to grab for more power. Rouhani’s threats to the U.S. may be intended for a domestic audience as much as they are intended for Trump.
Certainly, the best of all possible worlds is for the Iranian people to rise up and dethrone these Islamic extremists and replace them with a democratic government that will change its posture towards the West. Barring that, it would be good to see Iran realize that they are in an unwinnable situation, reach out to the Trump administration, and agree to come back to the table for a new and improved nuclear agreement.
Hopefully we’ll see one of those two scenarios unfold in the coming months. The third option…well, President Trump laid it out pretty well.