Donald Trump could be ready to order a strike against Iran, ABC reported citing an unnamed Australian government figures.
The undisclosed source told ABC that Australian defense facilities would play a role in identifying targets in Iran. British intelligence agencies would play the same part. However, another anonymous senior security source claims that there was a big difference between providing accurate intelligence and analysis on Iran’s facilities and being part of a “kinetic” mission.
ABC further reported that some members of Malcolm Turnbull’s government believe that Trump is prepared to use military force against Iran, others maintain that it might be just a part of his twitter diplomacy, as consequences of a conflict with Tehran might cause unpredictable and dangerous responses in the Middle East.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, on July 26th, in front of ABC’s AM program said that “Australia is urging Iran to be a force for peace and stability in the region. The relationship between the United States and Iran is a matter for them. What we are looking to do is to ensure that all parties embrace peaceful and stable principles to ensure that our region is safe.”
ABC also reported that Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne had the following to say regarding the validity Trump’s threat against Iran: “Certainly President Trump has indicated that he’s a person who’s prepared to act in a way that previous presidents haven’t. And for that reason, one should always take anything that he says extremely seriously.”
Senior figures in the Turnbull Government have also told the ABC that at the AUSMIN meeting on July 25th in San Francisco, US Secretary of Defence James Mattis reinforced US’s strong position on Iran. He said that while speaking alongside Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Defence Minister Marise Payne and US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. No AUSMIN reports contain information regarding Iran, according to them the meeting concerned primarily China and North Korea.
On July 27th, as Reported by Straits Times, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he had no reason to believe the US was preparing for a military confrontation. His exact words were “I saw a story today claiming that, on the ABC, and citing senior Australian government sources,” he said. “It’s speculation, it is citing anonymous sources.”
On July 26th, Iran’s Major General Qassem Soleimani in a sharp reaction to Trump’s July 23rd threat answered: “You threaten us with an action that is ‘unprecedented’ in the world. This is cabaret-style rhetoric. Only a cabaret owner talks to the world this way.”
His words were an answer to Donald Trump’s row of aggressive twitter-style diplomacy: “To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!” He tweeted the threat after President Rouhani, in his statement on July 23rd, said that “must understand that war with Iran is the mother of all wars and peace with Iran is the mother of all peace. Do not play with the lion’s tail, because you will regret it eternally.”
Major General Soleimani further said “It is beneath the dignity of our president to respond to you. I, as a soldier, respond to you.”
PressTV also reported that the General went into detail reminding the United States of its failures in its invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan:
“What was it that you could do over the past 20 years but you didn’t? You came to Afghanistan with scores of tanks and personnel carriers and hundreds of advanced helicopters and committed crimes there. What the hell could you do between 2001 and 2018 with 110,000 troops? You are today begging Taliban for talks. Afghanistan was a poor country, what the hell could you do in this country that you are currently threatening us?”
He further continued that in Yemen the US-backed coalition of Saudi Arabia and its allies has been incapable of making any gains against the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
PressTV also reported that Soleimani condemned the US for supporting Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), a militant group aiming to overthrow the Iranian government.
BBC reported that Soleimani’s threatened that war with Iran would “destroy all that you possess.”
This also comes after, on July 23rd, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called the religious leaders of Iran “hypocritical holy men” and likened the government of the country to “mafia”.
However, as reported by BBC, on July 25th, Donald Trump, while speaking to a veterans’ group, said that the US was “ready to make a deal” with Iran.
US-Iran relations have been worsening since the May 8th withdrawal of US from the Iran Nuclear Deal. After the departure, the US also threatened to impose sanctions, the first of which are to go into effect in August 2018. The deal’s EU partners have since made a bid to assist Iran in dealing with the sanctions and filling the gap left by the US. Despite EU’s vows, on July 18th, an Iranian factory began producing centrifuge rotors. This came a month after Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a statement ordered agencies to prepare to increase uranium enrichment capacity, if the deal falls apart after the US withdrawal.