On Sunday evening, Trump tweeted a warning to Iran in all-caps that if their threats continued that they would suffer “CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE”.
Trump’s tweet is believed to be in response to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s comments to diplomats in Iran on Sunday that Americans “must understand that war with Iran is the mother of all wars and peace with Iran is the mother of all peace”.
This comes after a threat by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz – through which a fifth of global oil exports pass – if the US continued to put pressure on Iran’s oil sector.
Diplomacy via Twitter
This tweet took his staffers by surprise and triggered fears about a potential nuclear showdown among some, but people should remember Trump’s comments of “fire and fury” against Kim Jong-Un, which many also predicted would lead to a nuclear war. That brought Kim to the negotiating table and to the Singapore summit in June.
Could Trump be trying the same tactic on the mullahs? Well, Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to talk strategy on Monday, but she said that Trump is being “very clear” about his red lines when it comes to Iran’s behaviour.
However, it is obvious that the mullahs cannot be swayed from their path of destruction. This is set out in their constitution which says that the Islamic Revolution should be exported throughout the world. That’s why Iran is pursuing nuclear weapons, in spite of the 2015 nuclear deal, and why they are starting or exacerbating conflicts across the Middle East.
If Trump really wants to get tough on Iran, then he should, by all means, continue with his sanctions, which began rolling back after he pulled out of the nuclear deal in May, but he should also reach out to the Iranian Resistance and promote them as the democratic alternative to the barbaric mullahs.
The Iranian Resistance, led by Maryam Rajavi, has been fighting for democracy and freedom in Iran since the days of the Shah. They already have the support of many prominent figures across the world and many in Trump’s inner circle, from national security adviser John Bolton to personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Trump should tweet out a message of support to Rajavi as that would really draw a line in the proverbial sand.