WORLD

Trump warns Iran not to threaten US or it will face ‘end’

May 20, 2019, 5:14 AM | Updated: 5:14 am
In this Friday, May 17, 2019, photo released by the U.S. Navy, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class ...
In this Friday, May 17, 2019, photo released by the U.S. Navy, Aviation Boatswain's Mate 2nd Class Nicholas Hawkins, from Houston, Texas, signals an MV-22 Osprey to land on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea. Commercial airliners flying over the Persian Gulf risk being targeted by "miscalculation or misidentification" from the Iranian military amid heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and the U.S., American diplomats warned Saturday, May 18, 2019, even as both Washington and Tehran say they don't seek war. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber Smalley/U.S. Navy via AP)
(Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber Smalley/U.S. Navy via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — President Donald Trump warned Iran early on Monday not to threaten the United States again or it’ll face its “official end,” shortly after a rocket landed near the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad overnight.

Iran’s foreign minister quickly responded in kind on Twitter with his own message: #NeverThreatenAnIranian.

Trump’s tweet comes after he seemingly sought to soften his tone on Iran following days of heightened tension sparked by his administration’s sudden deployment of bombers and an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf over still-unspecified threats.

In the time since, officials in the United Arab Emirates allege four oil tankers sustained damage in a sabotage attack. Yemeni rebels allied with Iran launched a drone attack on an oil pipeline in Saudi Arabia. U.S. diplomats relayed a warning that commercial airlines could be misidentified by Iran and attacked, something dismissed by Tehran.

All these tensions are the culmination of Trump’s decision a year ago to pull America out of Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers. And while both Washington and Tehran say they don’t seek war, many worry any miscalculation at this fraught moment could spiral out of control.

The tweet from Trump early on Monday came just hours after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy, causing no injuries. Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press that the rocket was believed to have been fired from east Baghdad. The area is home to Iran-backed Shiite militias.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran,” Trump tweeted. “Never threaten the United States again!”

Trump did not elaborate, nor did the White House.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif posted his own message Monday on Twitter, saying Trump had been “goaded” into “genocidal taunts.” Zarif namechecked both Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan as two historical leaders that Persia outlasted.

“Iranians have stood tall for a millennia while aggressors all gone,” he wrote. He ended his tweet with: “Try respect – it works!”

Trump campaigned on pulling the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord, which saw Iran agree to limit its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. Since the withdrawal, the U.S. has re-imposed previous sanctions and come up with new ones, as well as warned nations around the world they would be subject to sanctions as well if they import Iranian oil.

Iran just announced it would begin backing away from terms of the deal, setting a 60-day deadline for Europe to come up with new terms or it would begin enriching uranium closer to weapons-grade levels. Tehran long has insisted it does not seek nuclear weapons, though the West fears its program could allow it to build atomic bombs.

In an interview aired Sunday on the Fox News Channel, Trump called the nuclear deal a “horror show.”

“I just don’t want them to have nuclear weapons and they can’t be threatening us,” Trump said.

However, the nuclear deal had kept Iran from being able to acquire enough highly enriched uranium for a bomb. U.N. inspectors repeatedly certified that Iran was in compliance with the accord.

In Saudi Arabia, the kingdom’s military intercepted two missiles fired by the Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen. The missiles were intercepted over the city of Taif and the Red Sea port city of Jiddah, the Saudi-owned satellite channel Al-Arabiya reported.

The channel cited witnesses for the information. The Saudi government has yet to acknowledge the missile fire, which other Saudi media also reported.

Hundreds of rockets, mortars and ballistic missiles have been fired into the kingdom since a Saudi-led coalition declared war on the Houthis in March 2015 to support Yemen’s internationally recognized government.

However, the Houthis’ Al-Masirah satellite news channel denied Monday that the rebels had any involvement with this round of rocket fire.

Between the two targeted cities is Mecca, home to the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims pray toward five times a day. Many religious pilgrims are now in the city amid the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet on Sunday announced it would begin “enhanced security patrols” in international waters with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Already, the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier, the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge and others are in the Arabian Sea, waters close to the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil traded at sea passes.

___

Associated Press writers Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Bassem Mroue in Baghdad, and Samy Magdy in Cairo contributed to this report.

Today’s Top Stories

World

Residents stand in front of building destroyed by missiles in Ukraine...
FRANCESCA EBEL Associated Press

Russian missiles kill at least 19 in Ukraine’s Odesa region

The Ukrainian president's office said three Kh-22 missiles fired by Russian bombers struck an apartment building and a campsite.
3 days ago
A technician works on a component of Rocket Lab's Electron rocket ahead of the launch on the Mahia ...
NICK PERRY Associated Press

NASA hopes New Zealand launch will pave way for moon landing

The mission came together relatively quickly and cheaply for NASA, with the total mission cost put at $32.7 million.
6 days ago
...
Tim Lister, Julia Kesaieva, Salma Abdelaziz, Pierre Bairin and Jeevan Ravindran, CNN

Russian missiles hit Kyiv as G7 summit begins in Europe

G7 summit begins in Germany, as Russia hits Kyiv with a series of missile attacks.
8 days ago
A fighter in a tank in Ukraine....
ANDREA ROSA and JAMEY KEATEN Associated Press

Men, morale, munitions: Russia’s Ukraine war faces long slog

Over the weekend, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned the war could last years and warned of "Ukraine fatigue" abroad.
14 days ago
supermoon photos...
Associated Press

AP PHOTOS: Supermoon delights skygazers around the globe

The moon reached its full stage Tuesday during a phenomenon known as a supermoon because of its proximity to Earth. It's also known as the "Strawberry Moon."
19 days ago
President Joe Biden. He will visit Israel and Saudi Arabia in July....
AAMER MADHANI and ZEKE MILLER Associated Press

Biden to visit Israel and ‘pariah’ Saudi Arabia next month

The decision to pay a call on Saudi leaders comes after Biden as a Democratic presidential candidate branded the kingdom a "pariah."
20 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Trump warns Iran not to threaten US or it will face ‘end’