After an Iranian official tweaked President Donald Trump over America’s arms buildup in the Persian Gulf region, one U.S. senator said it would take only two strikes to win any war with Iran — the first one and the last.
On Tuesday, Hesamoddin Ashena, a key adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, sent Trump a Twitter message reflecting media reports that U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton is behind the administration’s tough actions in response to threats against American interests.
“You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead. That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache. Good luck in 2020!” he tweeted.
@realDonaldTrump : You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead. That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache. Good luck in 2020!
— Hesameddin Ashena (@hesamodin1) May 14, 2019
On May 5, Bolton announced that the U.S. was sending the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group into the Persian Gulf and also ordering a task force of B-52 bombers to the region because of threats against American interests. The U.S. has since augmented its military presence with Patriot missiles and the USS Arlington.
Although media reports have said sending 120,000 troops to the region is one option being considered, the Trump administration has downplayed that possibility.
Iran’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Hamid Baeidinejad, also warned America in an interview with Britain’s Sky News.
“Don’t test us,” he said.
“While we have renounced any escalation in the region, I would assure you that Iranian armed forces are fully ready for any eventuality in the region, so they should not try to test the determination of Iran to confront any escalation in the region,” he said.
But the warnings did not faze Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, who in an interview on the PBS show “Firing Line” said Iran will lose any military confrontation, The Hill reported.
“Yes, two strikes,” he said when asked if the U.S. could win a war with Iran. “The first strike and the last strike.”
Senator @TomCottonAR tells Firing Line if it comes to war with Iran, he is confident the United States would win, and would win swiftly. “Two strikes, the first strike and the last strike,” says the Senator. pic.twitter.com/twTdrFTwHu
— Firing Line with Margaret Hoover (@FiringLineShow) May 14, 2019
Cotton said his statement that the U.S. would win a war with Iran does not mean he wants one.
“I don’t advocate military action against Iran. I’m simply delivering the message that if Iran were to attack the United States, it would be a grave miscalculation on their part and there would be a furious response,” he said, adding, “If Iran struck out militarily against us or against our allies in the region, then I would certainly expect a devastating response against Iran.”
“What I want is to have an outlaw regime change its behavior, to rejoin the civilized world and stop supporting terrorism and trying to overthrow the governments of so many of its neighbors,” he said.
Cotton said the U.S. does not want to govern Iran but wants the Iranian people to have the freedom to do so.
“We don’t want to rule 80 million Iranians. We want 80 million Iranians to be able to govern themselves,” he said, according to The Washington Times.
“Ultimately, it’s up to the Iranian people and their leaders to decide how they’re going to govern their country, but with men like those in charge of Iran, I think we’re going to see what we’ve seen for the last 40 years, which is a revolutionary theological movement that’s hijacked the powers of a nation-state,” he said.
On Tuesday, British Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika sought to undercut the U.S. basis for its actions, saying the coalition fighting the remnants of the Islamic State in Syria have detected no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces.
“No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” he said. “We’re aware of their presence, clearly, and we monitor them, along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in.”
U.S. Central Command sought to differ.
“Recent comments from [Operation Inherent Resolve’s] Deputy Commander run counter to the identified credible threats available to intelligence from U.S. and allies regarding Iranian backed forces in the region. U.S. Central Command, in coordination with Operation Inherent Resolve, has increased the force posture level for all service members assigned to OIR in Iraq and Syria. As a result, OIR is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq,” spokesman Capt. Bill Urban said, according to Fox News.
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