US President Donald Trump ratcheted up his rhetoric with Iran and Iraq late on Sunday, warning of a “major retaliation” if Iran strikes again in retaliation for the US assassination of one in all its high navy commanders and threatening sanctions on Iraq after its parliament known as on US troops to go away the nation.
Trump and his advisers have been defending the drone assault that killed Iranian navy commander Qassem Soleimani, escalating tensions within the area.
Trump says Soleimani was planning assaults towards US residents and stated he would contemplate releasing intelligence reviews that led him to direct the killing.
Asked on Air Force One about potential retaliation by Iran, Trump stated: “If it happens, it happens. If they do anything, there will be major retaliation.”
Trump, who spoke to reporters on his manner again to Washington from a vacation in Florida, has stated Soleimani was killed to keep away from warfare with Tehran and warned towards additional escalation.
Iranians and Iraqis react to Soleimani’s killing
But he has deployed aggressive rhetoric in public, tweeting that the US would target 52 Iranian sites, some “at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture” if Iran struck any US residents or belongings in retaliation.
‘Surrounded by hawks’
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied on Sunday that Trump stated he would goal Iranian cultural websites however the president contradicted him when requested concerning the challenge on Sunday evening.
“They’re allowed to use roadside bombs and blow up our people and we’re not allowed to touch their cultural sites? It doesn’t work that way,” he stated.
Targeting cultural websites with navy motion is taken into account a warfare crime beneath worldwide regulation, together with a UN Security Council decision supported by the Trump administration in 2017 and the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property.
The president additionally issued a risk to Baghdad after the Iraqi parliament backed a resolution calling for US and different overseas troops to go away the nation.
Trump stated that if Iraq requested US forces to go away and it was not performed on a pleasant foundation, “we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build, long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump informed reporters.
Nader Hashemi, director of the Center for Middle East Studies on the University of Denver informed Al Jazeera Trump’s feedback had been “borderline insane” and a trigger for concern.
“This is someone who is completely surrounded by war hawks, is driven by his ego and is in a re-election campaign,” Hashemi stated. “I think he’s calculating that this type of tough rhetoric plays well with his domestic base.”
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and information businesses