Donald Trump makes Iran war prediction in 2011
The Democrats are currently racing to impeach Mr Trump before he leaves office on January 20. He has become the first President in history to be charged twice. It is believed that the opposition are keen to win the impeachment trial – set to be heard by the Senate after Mr Trump transfers power – as it will bar him from ever holding public office again.
His term has been marred by controversy, especially after his supporters stormed Capitol Building nearly two weeks ago.
Mr Trump was engaged in politics well before his Presidency, having previously ran for office in 2000.
A staunch critic of former President Barack Obama, Mr Trump in 2011 scolded the Democrat for what he described as “weak and ineffective” politics.
It came as the businessman, then 65 years old, predicted Mr Obama would start a war with Iran.
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He said: “Our President [Obama] will start a war with Iran because he has absolutely no ability to negotiate.
“He is weak, and he is ineffective. We have a real problem in the White House, so I believe that he [Obama] will attack Iran sometime prior to the election.
“He thinks that is the only way he can get elected. Isn’t it pathetic?”
President Obama went on to successfully push through the Iran nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
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It saw Iran agree to curb its nuclear activities and allow international inspectors to visit, in return for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
Hailed as a success around the world, it stopped Iran in its tracks and looked to create good relations between Western powers and the Islamic Republic.
Two years after becoming President, Mr Trump withdrew the US from the agreement and reimposed harsh economic sanctions on Iran.
He called the deal “decaying and rotten” and said it was an embarrassment” to him “as a citizen”.
This was in the face of allies across Europe.
Iran immediately restarted its uranium enrichment programme, which Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said would be done “without any limitations”.
The threat of a war with Iran under Mr Trump has come on in waves.
In January 2020 he ordered the killing of Iran’s most powerful military commander, General Qasem Soleimani, in an air strike at Baghdad’s airport, Iraq.
It marked a dramatic escalation in what was dubbed the regional “shadow war” between Iran and the US and its allies, namely Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Mr Trump followed the attack with his promise to pursue “maximum pressure”, threatening to attack Iran’s oil fields if it retaliated.
At the time, former Iranian diplomat Amir Musawi claimed Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had already given his military commanders specific orders to strike back at the US.
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He also revealed a list of top US military, intelligence and political leaders Iran had on its radar.
In the following weeks, the US reported that intelligence services had detected Iranian missiles on “full alert”, suggesting the Islamic Republic was ready to attack.
Nothing ever came of the claims, though tensions have remained.
Towards the end of last year, Iran was reported to be “fearful” that Mr Trump might strike the country.
In November, after his election defeat, it emerged that the President had asked his advisors about “options” for attacking Iran’s main nuclear site.
Earlier this month, it was suggested that the President might declare war on Iran, as a former counter-terrorism and coronavirus task force advisor to Mike Pence described Mr Trump as “unpredictable”.
Olivia Troye told the BBC’s Today Programme that she feared Mr Trump could start a war during the final days of his presidency
She said he and his inner circle want to leave Mr Biden “holding the bag” when he takes office.
Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative MP, reiterated those fears, and told Express.co.uk that things could get much worse.
He said: “The fact that he is failing to share information – as he is duty-bound to do – suggests he has something up his sleeve and he is going to go out with a bang.
“Whether that’s connected with some formal intervention in Iran, or something else, that’s difficult to know.
“But there is enough nervousness in Washington that former defence secretaries on both sides of the aisle have collectively called it out.
“The military should not be used in any manner – whether that’s domestically to stop Trump from leaving the building, or pursuing a last-ditch foreign policy which could be problematic for the incoming administration.”
With just days left before he transfers power to President-elect Joe Biden, Mr Trump is not believed to be engaged in any plans to hit Iran with military-level force.
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