Why Chaos In The White House Spells Trouble For Iran

Al-Jazirah, Saudi Arabia, March 29

The rate at which President Trump has gotten rid of his closest aides in the White House surprised even his biggest critics. Every few days Trump goes on a rampage on Twitter, after which he dismisses yet another administration official. A few months ago, rumors began spreading about the possibility that Trump would fire Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who apparently described the president as a “moron.” Trump’s retribution came shortly afterwards, with Tillerson’s dismissal revealed in one of the president’s tweets. Granted, Tillerson was never suited for the job. A former oil and gas mogul, he was used to having the final word. He ran ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest energy companies, where the only opinion that mattered was his own. Then, in February 2018, he joined the Trump administration, effectively shifting from giving orders to receiving them. Most of the time he made recommendations that mattered to no one, not least to his new boss. With Tillerson gone, Trump quickly moved on to his next target: namely, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. It remains unclear what dispute prompted this second dismissal, but one can only assume that McMaster, like Tillerson, did not see eye-to-eye with the president on certain issues, including the Iran nuclear deal. Now, a little over a year into his presidency, Trump has brought on John Bolton, a conservative nationalist with a track record of supporting every single American intervention abroad. Having in the past publicly called for the overthrow of the regimes in North Korea and Iran, Bolton is a true hawk who appears unafraid to use American force to achieve political ends. Therefore, this change of personnel seems like Trump’s way of establishing a new cabinet that shares his worldview. Whether an actual war will break out is a difficult question to answer—but the obvious target is, undoubtedly, Iran. The U.S. president has already spoken out against the nuclear deal on many occasions and continues signaling to the mullahs that he is serious about his threats. This is an alarming development, one that suggests big trouble for the Iranian leadership. – Ahmed al-Faraj

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