Not to be confused with Haji from “Johnny Quest,” even though the sartorial resemblance is uncanny, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani promised to “crush” President Trump and the U.S. if he doesn’t get an arms embargo lifted.

As reported by Reuters, here are the actual words from the exalted leader: “If America wants to return to the deal, it should lift all the sanctions on Tehran and compensate for the reimposition of sanctions… Iran will give a crushing response if the arms embargo on Tehran is extended.”

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He did not define “crushing response,” but geopolitical analysts not residing in downtown Tehran speculate it could range from another weird non-credible threat to a third weird non-credible threat.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, first in his class at West Point and thus thoroughly trained in dealing with foreign bully boys, responded: “We’re going to use every tool we can in our diplomatic capability to ensure that that prohibition on arms sales to Iran doesn’t expire [in] just a handful of months.”

So, no deal Hassan. The Saudis and the other Gulf states can now breath a sigh of relief. Though they were under no illusions that the Americans were going to cut and run on this one. Granted, the previous U.S. administration would not only have run away clutching their pigtails, but thrown in a boatload of cash on general principle. However, there’s a new sharif (get it?) in town and this administration sends aid to Iran in the form of incoming R9X Hellfire missiles. This is a weapon known to the kids at Langley (because of what it does to targets) as the “Flying Ginsu.”

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And given another previous administration invaded and toppled the thug regime that was the best regional counterweight to Iran, as the current president has accurately noted, there are no more lurching to tactical oblivion Saddam-led Iraqi infantry to keep Tehran in relative check. These days the Iraqis are more seen lunching with various Iranian officials than taking the field against them. Thanks again, George W. Bush.

The heat will remain on the Iranians until they mend their ways, an internal revolt returns them to sanity, or a Democrat is elected to the White House. As such, the Iranians may pull a stunt in the next several months to embroil President Trump in a military conflict while he is dealing with some aspect of the virus crisis, a still recovering economy, and a reelection effort.

Given the president can internationally walk and chew gum at the same time, it is likely their ploy will fall flat on its face. But it is just as likely that the Democrats will use any excuse, including blaming the president for blatant Iranian aggression against the U.S., to make political hay at his expense. And the beat goes on…

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This piece was written by David Kamioner on May 6, 2020. It originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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