This is not something that differentiates Trump from his predecessors, but what does differentiate him is his treatment of the Iranian regime. Trump has identified Iran as the number one threat to peace and security in the region and he has vowed to curb its influence. His administration’s announcement at the weekend regarding the U.S. deployment is significant because it is a message to the Iranian regime that it will strongly consider retaliating against its proxy attacks on allies in the region.
Once again, Trump is warning the Iranian regime that he will take any action necessary to curb the Iranian threat, because he can and because he wants to make it very clear that the United States under his control, unlike previous administrations, will not sit back and watch the regime wreak havoc across the Middle East. Sending a Navy carrier group to the region shows that Trump means what he says.
And the fact that the move came while the Trump administration has been dealing with several urgent issues such as North Korea’s rocket testing and the Venezuela situation is very significant. It is the Trump administration’s way of saying that it cannot be taken by surprise or that the Iran threat is being pushed to the backburner while other foreign policy issues are being sorted out.
For now, it appears that the Iranian regime is trying to keep under the radar as much as possible while still carrying out its usual activities. It is still funding its proxy groups and militias across the region but it is in a hopeless situation. The Trump administration has vowed to stop Iran from carrying out the acts that it depends on for survival and the people of Iran have made it very clear that they want regime change. So all Iran can do in this truly hopeless situation is to try to survive through Trump’s time in office in the hope that he is replaced by an administration like Obama’s.
Many are hoping that it will not come to this. Iran is a major impediment to peaceful progression in the Middle East and it is the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. It is also a prolific human rights abuser and the people of Iran have been denied the most basic of rights in all areas of their lives. The regime has committed one of the most horrific crimes against humanity that saw tens of thousands of political prisoners executed in what has become known as the 1988 massacre.
Let’s hope the next U.S. President does not have such a rogue regime to consider.