A former Trump adviser predicted that President Donald Trump would unleash “holy hell” in response to Iran’s retaliation for the killing of Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
According to the Washington Examiner, Sebastian Gorka said Tuesday that Iran made a “massive miscalculation” by attacking two Iraqi bases housing American troops Tuesday night, but the president made clear in a speech the next morning that he would welcome de-escalation with the Iranian regime. The president said that he would slap additional sanctions on Iran, however, and called on world leaders to abandon President Barack Obama’s nearly defunct Iran deal.
“Holy hell” for Iran?
Reacting to the strikes, Gorka said that America should “welcome” the attacks as proof that Iran presents an “imminent danger” to America and predicted a forceful response from President Trump. The Trump administration has similarly argued that Soleimani, who it said was behind the deaths of hundreds of Americans, was planning threats when he was taken out.
“Now there can be no question that Iran is a threat to American national security,” Gorka said Tuesday. “They chose the wrong time with the wrong president. This president will unleash holy hell on that regime.”
But Trump made clear in a speech Wednesday morning that he would welcome overtures of de-escalation from Iran, which he said appeared to be “standing down” after firing 15 missiles at a pair of bases in Iraq that left no American casualties, according to Reuters. The attacks left many wondering if Iran had missed American targets on purpose to avoid war with the most powerful military on the planet.
Trump began his Wednesday speech by boldly declaring: “As long as I am president of the United States, Iran will never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon” and announcing that he would slap additional sanctions on the regime. The president added that he would welcome a chance for peace with the regime and welcomed its cooperation in the fight against ISIS.
“The destruction of ISIS is good for Iran, and we should work together on this and other shared priorities,” Trump said, according to Newsweek. “To the people and leaders of Iran: We want you to have a future and a great future. One that you deserve, one of prosperity at home, and harmony with the nations of the world. The United States is ready to embrace peace with all who seek it.”
Many were left saying that Trump was the victor in the Iran stand-off, as Trump had taken out a top enemy of the United States without inflaming war, as many had predicted. Others have praised Trump’s approach as a decisive show of strength and a vast improvement over President Barack Obama’s conciliatory Iran policy, which Trump sought to counter with a “maximum pressure” campaign.
It was that approach that led the administration to leave Obama’s Iran deal in 2018, setting off a series of tit-for-tat threats that culminated in the deadly strike on Soleimani last week. The Iran deal is now all but defunct after Soleimani’s killing, which led Iran to abandon the remaining commitments to limitations on its uranium.
In his speech, Trump said that Soleimani should have been killed “long ago” and insisted that Iran give up its nuclear ambitions and support for terrorism, according to NPR. But he struck an optimistic note that a new and improved Iran deal could be worked out.
“They must now break away from the remnants of the Iran deal — or JCPOA — and we must all work together toward making a deal with Iran that makes the world a safer and more peaceful place,” Trump said, according to Newsweek. “We must also make a deal that allows Iran to thrive and prosper, and take advantage of its enormous untapped potential. Iran can be a great country.”
The worst predictions of war have been averted, at least for now, but it appears that Trump isn’t letting Iran off the hook just yet.