“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” Trump said Sunday in a tweet. “Never threaten the United States again!”
In a taped interview that aired Sunday on Fox News, Trump said: “I just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons and they can’t be threatening us.”
The U.S. hastened the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf and withdrew some diplomatic personnel from Iraq in recent weeks after saying intelligence showed a growing threat toward U.S. forces or commercial shipping by Iran or its proxy forces in the Mideast.
Trump has suggested he isn’t looking for a military confrontation, even as his advisers warn Iran against any provocation.
“I’m not somebody that wants to go in to war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly” Trump said on Fox.
The commander of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Hossein Salami, said his country isn’t looking for war but isn’t afraid of a confrontation, either. Recent incidents have “made the extent of the enemy’s strength clear,” he said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.
Trump has used tough rhetoric before, including threatening to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea in 2017 when Pyongyang was pursuing a series of nuclear and missile tests. Tensions eased when Trump and President Kim Jong Un agreed to meet, but after two summits, progress on denuclearizing the regime hasn’t materialized.
In January, before the recent uptick in tensions, Trump said his own intelligence experts “seem to be extremely passive and naïve when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!”