Trump Threatens ‘Obliteration’ of Parts of Iran

June 27th, 2019 - by Jason Ditz /

Trump Threatens to Attack Iran, Vows ‘Obliteration’ of Parts of Iran

Latest round of threats warn of war if Iran attacks ‘anything American’

Jason Ditz /

 (June 25, 2019) — In contrast to President Trump’s time spent saying he didn’t want a war with Iran, and calling off such an attack less than a week ago, Trump spent the bulk of Tuesday threatening to attack Iran on even the slightest pretext, saying he’d attack if Iran struck “on anything American.”

President Trump promised “overwhelming force” against Iran, calling President Rouhani “ignorant and insulting” and saying his attacks on Iran would mean total obliteration in some parts of the country.

Rouhani’s comments only faulted the US policy as “desperate and confused,” and said it led officials to “take unusual measures and talk nonsense.” He also ridiculed US sanctions against Iran’s Supreme Leader, noting he never visits the US and has no assets there to begin with.

There was no indication from anyone in Iran that Iran was liable to attack anything America-related, and Trump started his tirade about war early in the morning, and continuing to talk up that conflict, and his lack of thought to an exit strategy, over the course of the day.

Whether this reflects a sudden shift toward hawkishness by Trump or simply an unrelated tirade is not clear. It is, however, hardly the first time he’s threatened Iran in such terms, and so far he has not carried out any attacks, despite many in his administration urging him to do so.

Trump Threatens Attacks on Iran in Retaliation for Strikes

Makini Brice and Tim Ahmann / Reuters

WASHINGTON (June 25, 2019) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened to attack Iran in retaliation for any strikes by Tehran “on anything American,” after Iran said new U.S. sanctions precluded any diplomacy and called the White House actions “mentally retarded.” 

 “Iran’s very ignorant and insulting statement, put out today, only shows that they do not understand reality. Any attack by Iran on anything American will be met with great and overwhelming force. In some areas, overwhelming will mean obliteration,” Trump said in a Twitter post. 

The United States imposed sanctions on senior Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Monday. U.S. sanctions on Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are expected later this week. 

Tensions between the two long-time foes have escalated over the last month, when Washington blamed Tehran for attacks on two oil tankers and Iran downed a U.S. surveillance drone. Tehran has denied responsibility for the tanker attacks and has said the U.S. drone was flying in Iranian airspace. 

Trump said he called off a strike on Iran last week in retaliation for the drone incident, after he decided at the last minute it would kill too many people. 

Trump on Iran War: ‘I Don’t Need Exit Strategies’

Says he’s ‘ready to do whatever’ with Iran

Jason Ditz /

(June 25, 2019) — After last Thursday’s decision to call off an attack on Iran, President Trump spent a substantially more hawkish day Tuesday, suggesting he was equally ready for war or negotiations with Iran, and that it “doesn’t make a difference.”

In talking up how ready he was for an Iran war, Trump dismissed questions about what his exit strategy would be, declaring “I don’t need exit strategies” to a gathering of reporters. He did not elaborate on what that actually meant.

In the context of his talk of obliteration of Iran, however, it certainly points to the idea that Trump, just days after calling off such a war, is alarmingly comfortable with starting another huge US war on the same open-ended, ill-considered basis. Comfortable, at least, so long as he’s talking up his bellicosity in front of reporters.

Asked for his message for Iran, Trump said that “when they’re ready, let us know.” He did elaborate on this, saying he’s “ready to do whatever. Doesn’t make a difference. Whatever they want to do, I’m ready.” 

Iranian officials have said they aren’t interested in war, but also aren’t interested in direct diplomacy with the US, in the context of constant US threats and sanctions. For now this suggests the war of words within the administration will continue.

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