Iran had better watch it, it seems. US President Donald Trump warned Iran early on Monday not to threaten the United States again or it would face its "official end," shortly after a rocket landed near the US Embassy in Baghdad overnight.
According to a news report from CBS and other global news agencies, both activity in the region and rhetoric have been ramped up following the sudden deployment by the US of the USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group last week to the Persian Gulf over credible but still-unspecified threats against US interests in the region.
CBS reported that following that deployment, President Trump sought to soften his tone on Iran following days of heightened tension sparked by the sudden deployment by the US of the Strike Group, but after a Katyusha rocket fell in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone near the statue of the Unknown Soldier, less than a mile from the US Embassy, President Trump issued the following Tweet: "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" The president didn't elaborate, nor did the White House, CBS reported.
If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 19, 2019
According to the same report, Iraqi military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasoul told The Associated Press the rocket was believed to have been fired from east Baghdad, which is the area that is home to Iran-backed Shiite militias.
The Katyusha rocket struck about a mile from the US embassy in Baghdad, according to a Newsweek report, causing no injuries. The complex had already been evacuated days earlier of all nonessential staff as a precautionary measure amid rising tensions between Washington and Tehran. The U.S. consulate in the city of Irbil had been cleared of its staff as well, Newsweek reported.
Relations have become increasingly strained between the US and Iran over the past two years since President Trump took office. In 2018, the US withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, accusing it of using the uplifted sanctions to provide financial and strategic assistance to terrorist groups in the region, including Hezbollah, as well as maintaining their nuclear weapons program. Last month, The Bullseye also revealed the designation by the US of Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organisation.