Tweets Suggest US-Iran Conflict Deescalating After Tuesday’s Attacks

Iranian FM emphasizes strikes were proportionate self-defense

Tweets issued by President Trump and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif are suggesting the two sides may be coming to a position of understanding that would end the tit-for-tat escalation and restore the ex ante situation.

Zarif sought to frame the Tuesday attacks on US targets as “proportionate measures in self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter.” He indicated Iran doesn’t intend any further actions. Assuming the US doesn’t attack Iran again, this would settle the matter.

President Trump’s own statement was a lot less clear, emphasizing how great the US military is, but saying that “all is well.” It seems that the US also considering the matter settled is at least possible, though Trump said he is making a statement in the morning.

Considering the circumstances, this could be a best-case scenario and a chance to step down for everyone, capping what looked like a might be progressive escalation on both sides. Neither side has a major reason to launch any more strikes.

Helping in reaching that end situation is that Iran appears to have gone out of its way not to inflict casualties in the strikes. This means Iran can present its retaliation domestically as proportionate, and the Trump Administration doesn’t have any casualties that it feels it has to retaliate over.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.