President Donald Trump stirred the pot again with a tweet this weekend, warning Iran that if it wants to fight, it’ll be the “official end” of Iran. Trump also warned Iran to never threaten the United States again.
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
Tensions seemed to be easing slightly over the weekend with President Trump and officials from Iran claiming that they wanted to avoid a war. In an interview on Fox News that aired on Sunday evening, Trump made it clear that he didn’t want to go to war, noting that it would create a big impact on the economy and would cost a lot of lives.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo likewise claimed that the United States was not looking to go to war with Iran, but that America would respond quickly if attacked. Some hawkish individuals within the administration, such as John Bolton, appear to favor a more confrontational approach with Iran.
Iran has been accused of working on nuclear technologies that could eventually lead to a bomb and fueling instability across the region. Iran has propped up Bashar al-Assad in Syria and is also allegedly supporting Shia rebels in Yemen. The United States has frequently found itself on the other side of the battlefield.
These activities were occurring even when the United States was still committed to the nuclear accords. Indeed, one of the biggest criticisms of Barack Obama’s signature nuclear deal was that it did little to ensure wider stability in the Middle East, even as it may have slowed Iran’s nuclear ambitions.