Special to WorldTribune.com
Iran is getting a taste of the maximum pressure strategy used by U.S. President Donald Trump that brought North Korea to the negotiating table.
As the U.S. is set to impose sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani exchanged heated rhetoric after which Trump followed up by saying he was willing to speak with the Iranian leader with “no preconditions.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump for his strong position against “the aggression of the Iranian regime.”
“For years this regime has been pampered by the superpowers, and it is good to see the United States change this unacceptable equation,” Netanyahu said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on July 29.
It was an indication Israel is working in tandem with the Trump administration to contain Iran’s regional power grab.
Netanyahu has vowed to never allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence in Syria and has been particularly vocal in recent weeks in warning Iran not to set up camp adjacent to the Syrian Israeli border on the Golan Heights.
Along with U.S. sanctions set to kick in on Aug. 6, Trump has urged all nations to cease buying oil from the Islamic Republic.
Rouhani threatened to wage “the mother of all wars” if the U.S. follows through on its threat to stop Iranian oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz.
After hinting he could close the Strait of Hormuz for all countries who produce oil, Rouhani addressed the nation and warned the U.S. not to escalate tensions.
“Mr. Trump! We are the honest men who have throughout history guaranteed the safety of this region’s waterways,” Rouhani claimed, adding “do not play with the lion’s tail; it will cause regret.”
Rouhani then said that “peace with Iran would be the mother of all peace,” while war with the Islamic Republic would be “the mother of all wars.”
Trump shot back via twitter:
“To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
The commander of the IRGC’s Basij force, Gholamhossein Gheybparvar, claimed “Trump could not do “a dammed thing against Iran” while former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezaei tweeted “Mr. Trump, you be cautious.”
The thing that Trump, the U.S. commander-in-chief, has is a military with a budget that is two times Iran’s GDP. In 2016, the U.S. military budget was $612 billion. In 2015, Iran’s defense budget was $18 billion. . .