TOP OF THE AGENDA – U.S.-Iran Tensions Flare After Rocket Landing

U.S. President Donald J. Trump warned Iran (Twitter) on Sunday not to threaten the United States, tweeting that a clash with the United States would be the “official end of Iran.”

The threat came after a rocket landed (AP) less than a mile from the U.S. embassy in Baghdad without causing damage. There was no immediate claim of responsibility (WaPo). The incident came days after the U.S. State Department ordered nonessential diplomatic staff to leave Iraq, citing unspecified threats from Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote on Twitter that “economic terrorism and genocidal taunts” would not end Iran and called on Washington to “try respect.”


“Iran is still not interested in unraveling the [2015 nuclear agreement]. It just wants to make clear that the status quo, in which the country endures maximum pressure without any tangible benefit in return, is no longer sustainable,” Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi writes for Foreign Policy.

“Since the President reneged on the Iran nuclear deal last year, the administration’s policies have been geared towards provoking Iran into retaliation to give cover for a perilous escalation favored by administration hawks,” said Jamal Abdi of the National Iranian American Council.

CFR’s Philip H. Gordon examines the prospects for Washington and Tehran to resolve their differences or raise the risk of a military altercation