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HomePoliticsDonald Trump's war threat to Iran on Twitter is no joke

Donald Trump’s war threat to Iran on Twitter is no joke

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Donald Trump and Hassan Rouhani are responding to pressures at home by lashing out at each other on Twitter. 

Growing Trump-Iran belligerence is dangerous and pointless. Trump wants to turn back the clock on the economy. A no-deal Brexit is less far-fetched all the time. We’re in the middle of a dealmaking frenzy; they don’t end well. Don’t blame tech for the stock market being pricey.

In possibly the most 2018 thing ever, the President of the United States threatened Iran with war, and the Internet responded … with a bunch of hilarious jokes.

But we still live in a world where President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani exchanging threats is serious business. Both men are responding to pressures at home by lashing out at each other, write Bloomberg’s editors, but both have more constructive ways to spend their time: “The escalation in threatening language is dangerous: A single Iranian speedboat captain, overreacting to his president’s tough talk, could spark a crisis on the Strait of Hormuz. But even if things don’t go that far, neither leader is likely to profit from these outbursts.”

Former US Navy Admiral James Stavridis, who patrolled the Strait of Hormuz during the Iran-Iraq War in 1987, warns Iran could clamp down on that waterway quickly, choking off the flow of about a third of the world’s oil shipments. The US would respond, of course, but it wouldn’t be able to open the channel quickly. He warns Trump is mistaken if he thinks Rouhani will respond to threats the way North Korea’s Kim Jong Un did – with a showy rapprochement that boosts Trump’s ego: “Kim is a gangster leader who will respond to monetary incentives; the ayatollahs are religious zealots, many of whom are willing to die to defy the Great Satan.”

The shame of it is that Trump’s belligerence undermines Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has been saying the right things to encourage Iranians to pressure their government, writes Eli Lake. The risk, in Eli’s view, is that what Trump really wants is the aforementioned showy rapprochement, and that he’ll give away too much to get it. – Bloomberg

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