President Donald Trump has escalated the war of words with Iran via Twitter.
“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,” Trump tweeted Sunday.
The tweet came days after the State Department ordered all non-emergency personnel from its embassy in Iraq over fears that Iran-allied militia groups could target Americans in Iraq. The U.S. also deployed an aircraft carrier and strike group to the Strait of Hormuz due to threats.
The commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, Maj.-Gen. Hossein Salam, responded to Trump’s tweet.
“Iran is not looking for any type of war, but it is fully prepared to defend itself,” he said Sunday, according to the country’s state-run Islamic Republic News Agency.
Meanwhile, the Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif warned Trump his “genocidal taunts won’t “end Iran”.”
On Sunday in Iraq, a Katyusha rocket was fired into the centre of Baghdad’s Green Zone, where the U.S. Embassy is located, but did not cause any damage. The rocket was believed to have been fired from the eastern part of the capital city, where Iran-backed Shiite militias are based.
On Monday, news agencies in Iran reported that the Islamic Republic had dramatically increased its production of low-enriched uranium that soon will bypass the limit set by the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. Iran said it has informed the International Atomic Energy Agency of the decision to increase its production.
Last week, on the one-year anniversary of the U.S. leaving the pact, Iran announced that it would partially withdraw and set a 60-day deadline for the world powers still in the agreement to set new terms, including easing restrictions on Iran’s banking and oil sectors. If the powers fail to meet the deadline, Iran has threatened to remove caps on uranium enrichment levels and resume work on its Arak nuclear facility.
The 2015 deal traded sanctions relief for a rollback in Iran’s nuclear program.
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019