When President Donald Trump took down high-profile terrorist Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani, he exposed the rogue regime’s inherent weakness. In response, the Muslim extremist leadership faked a military repose by sending missiles harmlessly into fields away from American soldiers. The radicals knew then, just as they know now: kill an American, and face President Trump’s unbridled wrath.
Like seasonal mosquitoes, Iran’s “navy” has begun its saber-rattling in the Persian Gulf. But this time, the American strongman will no longer tolerate the dangerous sea maneuvers by Iran’s fleet of small and inferior boats that put U.S. naval vessels in harm’s way.
“I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea,” President Trump reportedly tweeted for the world to read.
The president went on to field questions at a follow-up White House press conference where he reiterated the order.
“We don’t want their gunboats surrounding our boats and traveling around our boats and having a good time,” Trump said. “We’re not going to stand for it. They’ll shoot them out of the water.”
Iran had been sidelined in international circles after targeting oil tankers and threatening to blockade passage routes in the Gulf. The COVID-19 pandemic flattened the regime’s already staggering economy, and experts believe the Iranian extremists are trying to reassert the appearance they have muscle to flex.
“What we have moving forward in the Gulf is, this is really Iran trying to reassert a new normal that, ‘We will be doing this to you for the foreseeable future,’” Foundation for Defense of Democracies senior fellow Behnam Ben Taleblu said. “I think this will be another summer of Iranian escalation.”
And that may be precisely what President Trump plans to nip in the bud with his bold self-defense declaration. When these small, high-speed vessels breach safe distance, the scenario put American warships at risk of missile and suicide bomb attacks.
International policy experts see the recent escalation in the Gulf as a high-stakes political gamble by Iranian leaders. The regime’s power over its people continues to slip, and last year Iranians took to the streets protesting the government. Everyday people refused to desecrate the American flag, and powermongers need some type of flare-up to demonstrate they can stand tall against the U.S.
“They can be provocative without causing a war, and it’s the best of both worlds for them,” American Enterprise Institute scholar Michael Rubin said. “They get to depict themselves as strong, they don’t have to suffer the consequence, and they get a slight uptick in the price of oil, usually.”
Democrats, by contrast, continue to insist that the president and U.S. Navy cower from Iranian aggression.
“The president’s continued issuing of orders to our military via tweet is a threat to our national security and, if followed without clear guidance and rules of engagement, will unnecessarily escalate tensions with Iran and possibly lead to all-out-conflict,” Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria said.
But Pentagon officials roundly disagree with Democrats who, like former President Barack Obama, try to appease the terror regime with lopsided nuclear treaties and billions in cold hard American cash.
“The president issued an important warning to the Iranians,” deputy secretary of defense David Norquist reportedly said. “What he was emphasizing is, all of our ships retain the right of self-defense.”