Sherman says Trump wrong about applying N. Korea approach to Iran

FNA – Former US Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman reminded President Donald Trump that his rhetoric of threat against Iran will not hand him an opportunity, unlike the case of North Korea, to meet Tehran’s officials, underlining that the American president is relying on the same gambit which fruited failure.

Sherman, in a post on Twitter, replied to a very recent tweet of Trump who repeated the same rhetoric of threat he used against North Korea last year against Iran.

She said that Trump’s words are “a reprise of last year’s ‘never threaten’”.

“Perhaps you think the ‘fire and fury’ North Korea approach will work here to get Iran to meet with you,” Sherman addressed the president, implying that Trump is applying a hostile approach against Tehran to force Iranian officials meet him.

“Won’t happen this way,” she underlined, reassuring Trump that he will fail this time if he thinks that Iran can be coerced into giving in to Washington’s demands.

Her remarks came an hour after Trump posted a new belligerent tweet on Sunday, claiming that if Tehran wants a war, “that will be the official end of Iran”. A tweet considered by many as a move risking a quickening of tension that is already rising.

The former US undersecretary of state concluded her tweet with mocking Trump for his failed foreign policy in dealing with North Korea, “NK gambit didn’t turn out so well, did it?”

In a related front, Matthew Gertz touched upon the same tweet of Donald Trump saying that the US President is influenced by Fox News programs about Iran’s threats.

He is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America. Media Matters for America is a media watchdog, research and information center.

Gertz has been for long focusing on the link between what Fox News is broadcasting and what Trump tweets afterwards.

He had more evidence Trump was live-tweeting Fox News, including Trump’s tweet attacking his favorite network for hosting Democrat Pete Buttigieg.

The fox news report that nudged Trump towards posting an anti-Iran tweet was about the attack on the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone earlier on Sunday.

An Iraqi military spokesman said that a rocket crashed at night (Iraq’s local time) at Green Zone, landing over 1km away from the US Embassy.

The US military command that oversees the Mideast has confirmed an explosion in the Green Zone, saying there are no US or coalition casualties.

A spokesman for US Central Command, Bill Urban, said in a statement that Iraqi Security Forces are investigating Sunday’s incident.

The cause of the explosions is not yet known. No group has yet claimed responsibility, according to the Iraqi officials.

Iraqi security forces have closed down the Green Zone neighborhood.

A police source said that “initial reports indicate that the rocket was fired from an open field” in Southern Baghdad.

“A low-grade rocket did land within the International Zone near the US Embassy and the JOC (Joint Operation Center). There were no casualties or significant damage; no US-inhabited facility was impacted,” the US State Department said in reaction to the incident.

“We are in close and continuing contact with senior Iraqi officials regarding this incident and investigating the circumstances. At present there are no claims of responsibility,” it added.

Iraqi sources said that several missiles and mortars have been fired at the Green Zone, one of them near the US embassy. The Iraqi army also confirmed the attack, saying that no casualties were reported.

The US had on Wednesday evacuated its non-essential government employees from Baghdad and Erbil, following Washington’s repeated expressions of concern about so-called threats in the Arab country posed by “Iran-backed forces”.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an unannounced trip to Iraq last Tuesday, pressing Iraqi leaders about what he alleged were the increased dangers to Americans there.

Military analysts believe that the US is paving the ground for escalating tensions against Iran to weaken the country in the region, specially Iraq, and find a pretext to prolong its deployment in the Arab country.

Washington shut down its consulate in the Southern Iraqi city of Basra last year after an attack, Pompeo blamed Iranian militants for “indirect fire” on the building without any evidence.

The analysts said that egged on by the ultra-hawkish duo of John Bolton, the national security adviser, and Pompeo, President Donald Trump has brought US-Iranian relations to the brink of war. Like the war against Iraq in 2003, launched on the pretext of spurious charges about nonexistent Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and links between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, the crisis with Iran is a manufactured one.

Bolton has reportedly demanded that the Pentagon provide him with an option to dispatch 120,000 troops to the region. Those unprovoked actions followed draconian new economic sanctions that, Pompeo said, would bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, and an announcement that Washington was ending waivers that allow countries such as India, Turkey, and Japan to buy Iranian oil. The new sanctions also target Iran’s exports of steel and other metals.

Joining Bolton on what is called the “B Team” are Bibi, bin Salman, and bin Zayed (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, the effective ruler of the United Arab Emirates). Together, they represent Trump’s Coalition of the Killing.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had last Tuesday warned of plots by a number of radical officials in the US administration to launch false-flag operations in the region, apparently alluding to the recent ship attacks in the UAE that Washington and its Persian Gulf allies are attempting to blame on Tehran.

“We discussed the regional issues and dangers that the policies of extremist individuals in the US administration are trying to impose on the region as well as concerns about the suspicious and sabotage acts that happen in our region, and we had earlier predicted that they will adopt such measures to provoke tensions,” Zarif told reporters in New Delhi after a meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

Meantime, US columnist Stephen Lendman described the Trump administration as the most extremist in US history, reiterating that his top military brass stand strongly opposed to any kind of war against Iran.

“As irrationally hostile as Trump is toward the Islamic Republic, I believe he’s reluctant to go this far. Pentagon commanders oppose war on Iran and Venezuela,” Lendman told FNA in an exclusive interview on Sunday.

“US war plans were drawn on Iran and updated at least since the Bush/Cheney era, never implemented, likely earlier. The Trump regime is the most extremist in US history. I rule nothing out with the likes of Pompeo and Bolton in charge of DJT’s geopolitical agenda,” he added.