Daily Express


- MARK ALMOND Crisis Research Institute

WAR with Iran has been creeping closer ever since Donald Trump took office.

The US President was elected to get America out of wars in the Middle East. But even before the assassinat­ion of the Ayatollah’s favourite general, Washington and Tehran were goading each other.

Now war seems unavoidabl­e. Cynics say Trump is trying to distract attention from his looming impeachmen­t trial and remind us 2020 is also an election year.

Trump voters are not pacifists but they turned against involvemen­t in Afghanista­n and Iraq as it was getting nowhere.

The president will need to show he has a strategy for the US to deal with Iran quickly and at low cost

– at least to Americans.

Iran has many chances to embarrass Trump before November’s presidenti­al election.

That’s why we must hope that when the Pentagon called General, Qassem Soleimani, a “target of opportunit­y” it did not mean Trump gave the go-ahead impulsivel­y.

The US president can seem unpredicta­ble. That is a strength if

he keeps America’s enemies guessing. But if he hasn’t considered what could happen after striking such a heavy blow, Iran could take the US by surprise.

Trump has always had Iran in his sights. He scrapped the nuclear deal made by President Obama to stop Iran getting atomic weapons. Trump argued that Iran had used relief from economic

sanctions to fund the wars across the Middle East which Soleimani led. Crippling Iran’s economy was supposed to bring it to heel.

That did not seem to affect Soleimani’s Al Quds force.

America is already deploying extra troops in the Middle East to protect embassies and assets there, but it will need that and more to fend off Iranian revenge.

As if keeping Tehran hemmed in wasn’t enough for Washington, other awkward customers could take the opportunit­y for mischief while Trump concentrat­es on Iran.

But the biggest worry for Trump after the risk of terrorist attack is whether Iran will now go all out

to get the Bomb.

 ??  ?? Trump scrapped Obama’s Iran nuclear deal
Trump scrapped Obama’s Iran nuclear deal

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