Al-Monitor – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on May 20 to US President Donald Trump’s tweet about the likelihood of military conflict with Iran. Trump tweeted on May 19, “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” On May 17, Trump had also tweeted, “With all the fake and made up news out there, Iran can have no idea what is actually going on.”
With the announcement by national security adviser John Bolton that the United States was sending an aircraft carrier strike group into the Persian Gulf in response to specific Iranian threats, tensions were severely heightened last week and experts warned of a military conflict. While many analysts now believe the intelligence was oversold by Bolton and Iran was likely taking defensive measures against what they believed was aggressive US military actions, tensions have since died down.
Zarif’s tweet, while in response to Trump, also offered an olive branch. Referring to the “B-team” of Bolton, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed, Zarif tweeted, “Goaded by the B-team, [Trump] hopes to achieve what Alexander, Genghis and other aggressors failed to do. Iranians have stood tall for millennia while aggressors [are] all gone. Economic terrorism and genocidal taunts won’t ‘end Iran.’ #NeverThreatenAnIranian. Try respect — it works!”
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