The Trump administration continued its campaign to antagonize adversaries this past week with the announcement of a new deployment of 1,500 U.S. troops to the Middle East as they continue to ratchet up tensions with Iran. The Iranians have responded to the new deployment, denouncing the move as completely counterproductive and against the concept of peace in the region. President Donald Trump’s team is basing their move on allegations like that Iran was behind recent attacks on tankers in the area.
Calling the move “extremely dangerous” for peace, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shared:
‘The Americans have made such allegations to justify their hostile policies and to raise tensions in the Persian Gulf. Increased U.S. presence in our region is extremely dangerous and it threatens international peace and security, and this should be addressed.’
Separately, Iranian General Morteza Qorbani insisted that the country had the capability to disrupt the still-growing U.S. presence in the region, to put it lightly, sharing:
‘America…is sending two warships to the region. If they commit the slightest stupidity, we will send these ships to the bottom of the sea along with their crew and planes using two missiles or two new secret weapons.’
Trump’s harassment of the country has been long-running at this point. He withdrew the United States from the globally agreed-to Iran nuclear deal, a move that entailed the imposing of harsh sanctions targeting key Iranian exports like metals including steel and copper. More recently, he has gone so far as to quite literally threaten the annihilation of the entire country on Twitter, alleging that they’re posing an increased threat to global and more specifically U.S. security despite seemingly inconclusive at-best evidence.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking member Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) described the administration as having “described years of malign Iranian behavior but failed to identify what actually constitutes an emergency today.”
Still, they’ve moving ahead with their plans to harshly confront the supposedly rising Iranian threat and only barely not directly advocate for regime change in a direct revival of some of the most drastic, virulent — and violent — portions of American foreign policy over recent decades.
This past week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that the administration would be moving forward with billions of dollars worth of controversial arms deals to interests like Saudi Arabia because of the supposed national emergency situation of needing to box in supposed Iranian aggression. In reality, weapons originating in the United States have already been used on Yemeni civilians via the Saudi-led coalition’s efforts in that country’s civil war — but that doesn’t seem to be an issue to the president. He vetoed a measure that both Congressional chambers passed earlier this year that would have ended all U.S. support for the war in Yemen.
From here, the administration has been reported to be examining plans to send tens of thousands more troops to the Middle East. Asked about the reports at the White House, Trump said they were “fake news” but that he “absolutely would” push for such a deployment if the time was right, a decidedly self-contradictory — and troubling at best statement.
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