NIAC statement on Trump’s tweet threat to ‘end’ Iran

“President Trump’s saber-rattling about Iran has reached a dangerous new low with his threat to “end” Iran – a country of 83 million men, women, and children."

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Image Credit: National Iranian-American Council

WASHINGTON – Today, President Trump threatened to “end” Iran in a tweet on the heels of reports that rockets landed near the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad.

In response, President of the National Iranian American Council, Jamal Abdi, issued the following statement:

“President Trump’s saber-rattling about Iran has reached a dangerous new low with his threat to “end” Iran – a country of 83 million men, women, and children. Since the President reneged on the Iran nuclear deal last year, the administration’s policies have been geared towards provoking Iran into retaliation to give cover for a perilous escalation favored by administration hawks. There is no doubt that National Security Advisor John Bolton will use the slightest Iranian action – even bereft of reliable intelligence – as a pretext to push for the war he’s always wanted.

“Trump’s belligerent threat to destroy Iran comes on the heels of reports that a “low-grade” rocket landed in an empty lot near the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad. Last September, a similar incident led to Bolton asking the Pentagon for options to militarily strike Iran. At the time, then-Secretary of Defense James Mattis shot down Bolton’s plans. With Mattis gone today, Bolton is well positioned to push Trump and the U.S. into a conflict that would be catastrophic for U.S. interests and regional and global stability.

“The fact is that the United States and the world should not be in this position where a war with Iran is even a possibility. America’s traditional allies in Europe, as well as the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence, have repeatedly warned that the administration’s actions are leading to a dangerous tit-for-tat with Iran. Simply stated, the current state of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Iran is exclusively due to the policies of the Trump administration, which abandoned a nonproliferation agreement that was working in favor of a so-called “maximum pressure campaign.”

“President Trump has claimed that he doesn’t want war, but his bombastic rhetoric is ensuring that he walks into one. Threats of destruction, a la “fire and fury,” will not get him a deal with Iran, just as they haven’t with North Korea. Instead, if Trump is sincere about wanting diplomatic compromise, he should cease his policy of economic warfare that is strangling the Iranian people and pursue a tone of mutual respect with Tehran. Foremost, this would require him to fire John Bolton, who has made clear he opposes U.S.-Iran diplomacy in principle.”

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The National Iranian American Council is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the voice of Iranian Americans and promoting greater understanding between the American and Iranian people. We accomplish our mission through expert research and analysis, civic and policy education, and community building. As one of the most highly educated minority groups in the United States, Iranian Americans have achieved success on many levels – technological, scientific, academic and economic life – yet our community’s impact on civil society is a less impressive story. No time was this more evident than after September 11, when the Iranian-American community was nearly silent as the United States was confronted with profound issues of national security, immigration and the character of American society. This was when NIAC emerged as a leader, addressing the difficult issues facing our community. Since its inception in 2002, NIAC has given the Iranian-American community a powerful voice. NIAC’s sister organization, NIAC Action, was formed in 2015 to ensure our community had the tools to secure peace and to advance the priorities of the Iranian-American community. Direct and grassroots advocacy work moved to NIAC Action at its founding, while NIAC continues to provide issue analysis, education, and community building activities. NIAC is funded by the Iranian-American community and prominent American foundations. NIAC does not receive funds from the Iranian government nor the United States government.

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