What is Trump’s Strategy With Iran?

Spoiler Alert: He Doesn't Have One

Chea Steinbach, Staff Writer

“That is why, last month, in my direction, the United States military executed a flawless precision strike that killed Solemani and terminated his evil reign of terror forever,” Trump said during his tense State of The Union Address on February 4th.

He was referring to the highly controversial move to kill top Iranian General Qasem Solemani. 

Hours after the strike, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters “there was in fact an imminent attack taking place,” with American intelligence officials indicating that Iran was planning large-scale attacks on American bases, interests, and allies.

This is Trump’s justification for his brazen assassination of Solemani, saying “Soleimani was plotting imminent and sinister attacks on American diplomats and military personnel but we caught him in the act and terminated him.”

The already high tensions between Iran and the United States, which began after Trump exited the nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed sanctions on Iran in 2019, is far from over.

On January 6th, three days after Solemani’s death, reports were published saying that some military commanders had not been in favor of  his assassination because Iran could feel compelled by national honor to strike back, increasing the likelihood of war. This is extremely distressing. Do we want another endless war in that region, as we had in Afghanistan in 2003, where we continue to station troops?

Iranian Foreign Affairs Minister Jaeved Zarif tweeted, “Have you ever seen such a sea of humanity in your life @realdonaldtrump. Do you still want to listen to the clowns advising you on our region? And do you still imagine you can break the will of this great nation and its people? End of malign presence in West Asia has begun.” 

Zarif implies that any such attack would constitute a war crime, and this will heighten our tense relations with Iran. This could have started a war, or at the very least, made relationships more volatile between the United States and Iran. People are burning Israeli and American flags in demonstrations throughout the country. Is this type of relationship that we want with Iran? Trump has undeniably damaged the relationship for years to come. 

In an interview on CNN, Defense Secretary Mark Esper found himself in a tangle of contradictions. He described that he was presented with no evidence showing that four embassies were being targeted but nevertheless shared the president’s “belief” that the four embassies were under threat of attack. Even Trump’s own Defense Secretary cannot keep his facts straight.

To make matters even worse, Republican Senator Mike Lee of Utah described an Iran briefing, “[Administrative officials] had to leave after 75 minutes while they’re in the process of telling us we need to be good little boys and girls and run along and not debate this in public. I find that absolutely insane.”

Senate Democrats, on the other hand, said they were briefed on information provided by the administration and did not mention anything about an” imminent threat.” This was described by the President of the United States as attacks on four embassies, one being in Baghdad.  

Ironically, Trump tweeted during the Obama administration that Obama would start a war with Iran in order to get elected. So what was it, Mr. President? Was this a ploy for you to shine at your rallies and on the campaign trail? 

Congratulations, you killed the man considered to be the second most powerful person in Iran. But what good will that accomplish for the United States of America, our commonwealth, our Republic in the years to come? Think about the impact, Mr. President. What relations do we not only want to have with Iran but also with countries in that region? What legacy do you want to leave? Obviously, not a good one.