President Trump’s Twitter response to Iran was highly exaggerated and needlessly provocative, argues Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic. Iran’s leader’s statements were not extraordinary and could have easily been dismissed. Trump is showing a strong lack of presidential restraint, which could harm America’s national interests abroad. While his threats of war are likely a bluff, they aggravate an already sensitive situation with Iran. They may have been motivated by a desire to look tough, which would have been a very poor decision. There is a risk that he was serious, which is even worse as it shows a far too big willingness to resort to force.
President Trump’s tweets aimed at Iran were part of a detailed strategy to apply pressure on its regime, infer Mitchell, De Luce and Williams of NBC News. There is a long-term plan, which is part of pulling out of the Iran deal and reintroducing sanctions. Its next step will be to push European allies to isolate Iran economically or lose their business with America. The idea is to get the country to the point of regime change or force it to make concessions. While crass, Trump is using his ‘fire and fury’ mind game tactics that seemed to work in bringing North Korea to the table. Rather than just angry ramblings, they are a product of precise planning.