Mon | Jun 17, 2019

Trump warns Iran not to threaten US or it will face ‘end’

Published:Monday | May 20, 2019 | 9:37 AM
In this Sunday, May 19, 2019, photo released by the U.S. Navy, sailors partake in a foreign object and debris walk-down on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Garrett LaBarge/U.S. Navy via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — President Donald Trump warned Iran early on Monday not to threaten the United States again or it would face its “official end,” shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight and only 48 hours after he seemingly sought to soften his tone.

Iran’s foreign minister quickly responded in kind on Twitter with his own message: #NeverThreatenAnIranian.

Trump’s tweet follows days of heightened tension sparked by his administration’s sudden deployment of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over still-unspecified threats.

While his duelling approach of flattery and battery has become a hallmark of his presidency’s foreign policy, the risks have only grown in dealing with Iran, where four decades of mistrust between Tehran and Washington precede him.

In the time since officials in the United Arab Emirates allege four oil tankers sustained damage in a sabotage attack.

Yemeni rebels allied with Iran launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia.

U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.

All these tensions are the culmination of Trump’s decision a year ago to pull America out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

And while both Washington and Tehran say they don’t seek war, many worry any miscalculation at this fraught moment could spiral out of control.

The tweet from Trump early on Monday came just hours after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, causing no injuries.

Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that the rocket was believed to have been fired from east Baghdad.

The area is home to Iran-backed Shiite militias.

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