Growing tensions between the USA and Iran peaked this weekend after USA president Donald Trump tweeted he would “END” Iran if it endangered US interests. The warning came after months of escalating tensions between the two nations.
A rocket landed near the US Embassy in Bagdad overnight causing no injuries.
The missile is believed to have been fired from the East Baghdad – an area which is home to Iran-backed Shiite militias.
While the Whitehouse is still awaiting a full briefing on the perceived attack, Donald Trump tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran.”
He added: “Never threaten the United States again!”
The relationship between the US and Iran has deteriorated since Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers last year.
Since then the US president has reimposed sanctions that have harmed Iran’s economy.
While President Trump has said he wished to avoid a war with Iran, it seems he won’t hesitate to take action if America is directly attacked.
In a Fox News interview on Sunday, Trump said he was not seeking a conflict with Iran vowed not to let it develop nuclear weapons.
He said: “I’m not somebody that wants to go into war, because war hurts economies, war kills people most importantly, by far most importantly.”
Iranian officials have also said they are keen to avoid a conflict.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Middle East country’s state news agency Irna: “There will not be a war since neither we want a war nor does anyone have the illusion they can confront Iran in the region.”
But in reaction to Trump’s latest tweet on the topic, Zarif tweeted back: “Goaded by #B_Team, @realdonaldTrump hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis & other aggressors failed to do.
“Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors all gone. #EconomicTerrorism & genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran.’ #NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect – it works!”
The “B team” Zarif refers to National Security Adviser John Bolton, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader Mohammad bin Salman – all three have taken a hard stance on Iran.
The UK Foreign Secretary urged Iran not to provoke the US in a statement on Monday.
Jeremy Hunt said: “I would say to the Iranians: Do not underestimate the
resolve on the U.S. side.
“They don’t want a war with Iran. But if American interests are attacked, they will retaliate. And that is something that the Iranians needs to think about very, very carefully.”
Since the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran has demanded European signatories to the nuclear accord to find a way of keeping the agreement alive.
Tehran has warned that unless the accord is maintained it will start enriching uranium at levels sufficient to pursuing a nuclear weapons program.
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