Speaking to conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh on Friday, President Trump delivered a profanity-laced threat to Tehran.
“Iran knows that, and they’ve been put on notice: if you f**k around with us, if you do something bad to us, we are going to do things to you that have never been done before,” Trump said.
Trump also told Limbaugh that if he is reelected, he will have a new deal with Iran “within one month.” But since the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal by reimposing sanctions on Iran in 2018, it has been clear the “maximum pressure” campaign will not bring Iran to the table.
Trump’s comments came as the administration continues to ramp up its “maximum pressure” campaign. On Thursday, the US slapped new sanctions on Iran’s banking system.
The new sanctions target 18 Iranian banks, almost the entire financial sector of the country. The US went ahead with the new measures despite concerns over the humanitarian impact. The new sanctions came just a day after Iran reported its highest number of daily deaths due to coronavirus.
The US insists the new sanctions have exemptions for humanitarian goods. But the measures will discourage foreign banks from doing any business with Iran, including humanitarian deals. US sanctions imposed on Iran throughout the years have already crippled the country’s economy and caused things like medicine shortages. History shows, economic sanctions always have a devastating impact on the civilian population of the target country.
The Washington Post pointed out in its report on the new sanctions that the idea of blacklisting Iran’s entire financial sector was pushed by Israeli officials and the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), a hawkish think tank that regularly calls for regime change in Tehran.
“To land a 12th-round economic knockout, it’s time for Mr. Trump to throw one more punch: Blacklist the entire Iranian financial industry,” Mark Dubowitz and Richard Goldberg of the FDD wrote in The Wall Street Journal on August 25th.
While President Trump warns Iran not to “f**k” with the US, it seems the Iran hawks in the US and Israel driving his policy hope to provoke Iran into a confrontation.
After a blast at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in July, Israeli sources and media outlets said Israel was responsible. The Natanz blast came during a string of mysterious fires and explosions across Iran. During that time, anonymous sources told Business Insider that Israel was involved in some of the explosions in an attempt to provoke a military confrontation with Iran before Trump was out of office.
“It’s been decided to follow the Trump administration’s lead of exerting ‘maximum pressure’ on the Iranians,” a former Israeli official told the Insider.