Relations between the US and Iran have been tense for decades. In 1953, the US helped overthrow Iran’s elected government. It then sponsored the brutally oppressive regime under the Shah, before backing the Iraqi invasion of Iran in 1980. In 1988, it ‘accidentally’ shot down an Iranian passenger airline, killing 290 civilians – including 66 children. Under the Barack Obama administration, the US placed on Iran “the most crippling sanctions in the history of sanctions”. And more recently, Donald Trump pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal, before re-applying crippling sanctions on the country.
Trump has also been using Twitter as a tool to threaten Iran with war. But a look at Trump’s tweets on Iran from before he became president tells a very different story.
2019 Twitter Trump vs Iran
In May, for example, Trump said:
Iran made a very big mistake!
Iran recently insisted that it is not seeking to wage war against any nation.
Trump’s past tweets about Iran, meanwhile, may provide an important insight into his current posturing.
Obama-era Twitter Trump on Iran
In November 2011, Trump tweeted a theory about then-president Barack Obama, saying:
In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 29, 2011
In October 2012, meanwhile, he wrote:
Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 9, 2012
Then, in September 2013, he tweeted:
I predict that President Obama will at some point attack Iran in order to save face!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 16, 2013
Either way, a US invasion of Iran must not happen
Trump’s past references to using war with Iran to “save face” and “get elected” are particularly damning given his own low approval ratings and an election coming up next year. In fact, Trump launched his 2020 re-election effort just this week.
It’s also true, however, that US national security adviser John Bolton (who appears to have Trump’s ear) has been pushing for war with Iran for years. And it appears very much like the US is currently hell-bent on conflict with Iran. Such a war would not be in self-defence, though. Like Iraq, it would be another devastating war of aggression. That’s why anyone interested in peace must ensure that a US invasion of Iran does not happen.
Featured image via Wikimedia – Gage Skidmore
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