Donald Trump 'may engage in warfare with Iran' warns expert
Many noted that scenes from the US yesterday evening resembled those more commonly seen in the Middle East. Scores of President Trump’s supporters breached the Capitol building in a bid to thwart President-elect Joe Biden being certified as the next US President. It is one in a string of events that his critics say prove Mr Trump is unwilling to leave office, despite his assurances that he will do so peacefully.
In his waning days, many have noted that “anything could happen” with the US’ relations with overseas powers.
Last year, the US killed Iran’s most powerful military commander, General Qasem Soleimani, in an air strike at Baghdad’s airport, Iraq.
It marked a dramatic escalation in what was dubbed the regional “shadow war” between Iran and the US and its allies, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Mr Trump followed the attack with his promise to pursue “maximum pressure”, threatening to attack Iran’s oil fields if it retaliated.
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At the time, former Iranian diplomat Amir Musawi claimed Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had already given his military commanders specific orders to strike back at the US.
He also revealed a list of top US military, intelligence and political leaders Iran had on its radar.
In the following weeks, the US reported that intelligence services had detected Iranian missiles on “full alert”, suggesting the Islamic Republic was ready to attack.
Nothing ever came of the rumours, though tensions have remained since.
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Even as Mr Trump readies to exit the White House, reports suggest the President continues to gauge whether a strike on Iran would be permissible.
In November, after his election defeat, it emerged that Mr Trump had asked his advisors about “options” for attacking Iran’s main nuclear site.
Today, it was suggested that the President might declare war on Iran, as a former counterterrorism and Covid task force adviser to Mike Pence described Mr Trump as “unpredictable”.
Olivia Troye told the BBC’s Today Programme that she feared Mr Trump could start a war during the final days of his presidency.
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She said he and his inner circle want to leave Mr Biden “holding the bag” when he takes office.
Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative MP, reiterated those fears, and told Express.co.uk that things could get much worse.
He said: “The fact that he is failing to share information – as he is duty-bound to do – suggests he has something up his sleeve and he is going to go out with a bang.
“Whether that’s connected with some formal intervention in Iran, or something else, that’s difficult to know.
“But there is enough nervousness in Washington that former defence secretaries on both sides of the aisle have collectively called it out.
“The military should not be used in any manner – whether that’s domestically to stop Trump from leaving the building, or pursuing a last-ditch foreign policy which could be problematic for the incoming administration.”
This week, Tehran began enriching uranium up to 20 percent and seized a South Korean tanker in Gulf waters this week.
Many claim that both moves are intended to persuade Mr Biden to rejoin the 2018 Nuclear Deal which Mr Trump quickly withdrew from.
Meanwhile, in a video posted to social media, Mr Trump failed to denounce the riots.
He instead said he “loved” the protestors, and that the election was a “landslide” in his favour, but told his supporters to “go home”.
Mr Trump has since accepted Congress’ decision to certify Mr Biden as the next President, and has promised an orderly transition.
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