May 11, 2019 | Story | No Comments
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened Iran with a “swift and decisive” response to any attack on “US interests or citizens,” including those by “proxies” – leaving lots of leeway for the war he says the US doesn’t want.
“The regime in Tehran should understand that any attacks by them or their proxies of any identity against US interests or citizens will be answered with a swift and decisive US response,” Pompeo wrote in a statement warning that Iran should not mistake US “restraint” for a “lack of resolve,” and criticizing Iran for “an escalating series of threatening actions and statements in recent weeks.”
While Pompeo insists “we do not seek war,” the statement’s wording leaves ample room for it, from describing Iran’s expected offenses in vague terms (“proxies of any identity” attacking “US interests or citizens”) to suggesting the US will have a decisive role in “taking steps to give Iran the future it deserves.”
Pompeo claims Iran’s “default option” has been “violence,” echoing repeated US claims it is the “number one sponsor of terrorism” and the driver of hostilities in Yemen and Syria. When the US used this alleged belligerence as a pretext for pulling out of the JCPOA nuclear deal, despite Iranian compliance and agreement from the other partners the agreement had been a success, Iran’s reaction was to continue to uphold its end of the deal in deference to those partners. Iran has only just announced it will suspend some of its commitments under the deal because additional US sanctions have made its position untenable – and asked the EU to step up and defend it against those sanctions, which seem to be little more than punishment for following the rules.
Pompeo appeals “to those in Tehran who see a path to a prosperous future through de-escalation,” all while a US carrier strike group is headed for the region, reportedly acting on a tip from Israeli intelligence – a country that openly wants war with Iran.
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Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has previously warned US President Donald Trump that members of his administration, including Pompeo, are trying to steer him into a confrontation he does not want. Zarif also advised the US to stop blaming Iran for regional hostility toward American interests.
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