Tue, May 21, 2019 - Page 7 News List

Trump tells Iran it faces ruin if it ‘wants to fight’


A US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet flies above the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea on Saturday.

Photo: Reuters

US President Donald Trump has warned Iran not to threaten the US or face ruinous consequences as tensions mount between Washington and Tehran.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” Trump said on Twitter on Sunday. “Never threaten the United States again!”

In a recorded interview that aired on Sunday on Fox News, Trump said: “I just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons and they can’t be threatening us.”

The US hastened the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf and withdrew some diplomatic personnel from Iraq in the past few weeks after saying that intelligence showed a growing threat toward US forces or commercial shipping by Iran or its proxy forces in the Middle East.

Trump has suggested that he is not looking for a military confrontation, even as his advisers warn Iran against any provocation.

“I’m not somebody that wants to go in to war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly,” Trump said on Fox.

The commander of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, General Hossein Salami, said his country is not looking for war, but is not afraid of a confrontation, either.

Recent incidents have “made the extent of the enemy’s strength clear,” he said, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

Trump has used tough rhetoric before, including threatening to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea in 2017, when Pyongyang was pursuing a series of nuclear and missile tests.

Tensions eased when Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to meet, but after two summits, progress on denuclearizing the regime has not materialized.

In January, before the recent uptick in tensions, Trump said his own intelligence experts “seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!”

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