CommonDreams.org by Jake Johnson Thurs., April 02, 2020
“Now we discover that strangling the Iranian economy isn’t enough for Trump and Co. They are bent on using the spread of a deadly disease as cover for a new war.” —Mehdi Hasan, The Intercept
The Iranian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday called for an immediate halt to “warmongering during the coronavirus outbreak” as U.S. forces reportedly deployed Patriot missiles to Iraq and President Donald Trump warned—without presenting a shred of evidence—that Tehran is planning a “sneak attack” on American troops in the region.
Warning that heightened U.S. military activity in Iraq could lead to further “instability and disaster” in the Middle East, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the Trump administration should “respect the wishes of the Iraqi people and government and leave the country.” The Pentagon insisted in a statement that the Patriot missiles were mobilized for purely defensive purposes.
As Common Dreams reported, Trump on Wednesday threatened Iran with a “very heavy price” if it attacks “U.S. troops and/or assets” in the region, ignoring pleas from advocacy groups and the United Nations for a global ceasefire and international cooperation against the novel coronavirus, which has devastated the U.S. and Iran and is spreading quickly in Iraq.
Trump’s tweet came just over an hour after he attended an intelligence briefing with U.S. national security officials.
In a tweet of his own late Wednesday, Iran’s top diplomat Javad Zarif urged Trump “not to be misled by usual warmongers.”
“Unlike the U.S.—which surreptitiously lies, cheats, assassinates—Iran only acts in self-defense,” said Zarif. “Iran starts no wars, but teaches lessons to those who do.”
“Question: What kind of maniac risks such a war in the middle of a global pandemic? Answer: President Donald Trump, aided and abetted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser Robert O’Brien,” Hasan wrote.