October 23, 2018

Trump Warns That Iran ‘Will Pay a Price’ If They Threaten the U.S.

President Trump issued an ultimatum to the Iranian regime on April 24: they “will pay a price” if threaten the United States.

Trump gave the warning in a joint press conference he held with French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, where the two discussed the Iran nuclear deal. Trump was asked on if he will exit from the deal on the May 12 deadline, prompting him to respond: “We’ll see.”

“It was a terrible deal,” Trump said. “It should have never ever been made.”

After Macron suggested that it was important to “contain” Iran, Trump remarked that Iran is the source of a lot of the problems in the Middle East, pointing to Syria and Yemen as examples. He also brushed off the suggestion from a reporter that nixing the Iran deal would re-ignite its nuclear program.

“They’re not going to be restarting anything,” Trump said. “If they restart it, they’re going to have big problems, bigger than they ever had before.”

Trump added, “If Iran threatens us in any way they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid.”

European leaders, such as Macron, have been urging Trump to stay in the deal, arguing that even a flawed deal is better none at all. Trump, however, has been adamant about nixing the deal unless specific changes are implemented.

In an April 23 interview with the National Interest, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif actually claimed that Trump had been violating the Iran deal just by criticizing it.

“Every statement that President Trump has made since coming to office—before coming to office, he was a candidate, but since coming to office he’s become the president of the United States, head of the executive branch, and there are specific provisions that prohibit senior members of the executive branch of the United States from making statements against the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action], from trying to undermine the provisions of the JCPOA, from talking to foreign leaders and foreign businesses to dissuade them from investing in Iran, and from other activity that would impede normal trade with Iran by others—not by the United States, by others,” Zarif said.

Bloomberg Columnist Eli Lake noted that the Iranian regime is in greater danger of losing its grip on power than people realize. While the Iran protests have fallen out of the media’s purview, they have been ongoing for five months and the regime has had difficulty in trying to stop them.

“The majority of Iranians want change,” Alireza Nader, the RAND corporation’s former Iran specialist, told Lake. “They no longer believe in the game of moderates versus hardliners. Right now is the perfect time for the U.S. government to establish an official connection with the Democratic opposition.”