US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened to meet provocations by Iran with “great force. The president however said that he’s also willing to negotiate with the Islamic Republic. He says, “If they do something it will be met great force.” But he adds, “We have no indication that they will.” Still, he is not mincing his words, calling Iran “hostile” and the “No. 1 provocateur of terror.” Iran-US relations hit a new low last year as US Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed unilateral sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for Tehran scaling back its nuclear program.
Earlier, Donald Trump had said if the Islamic republic attacks American interests, it will be destroyed. “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again,” Trump said in a tweet. Tensions between US and Iran escalated after the US deployed a carrier group and B-52 bombers to the Gulf over what it termed Iranian “threats.”
Tensions rose dramatically May 5, when Bolton announced that the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group would be rushed from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf ahead of schedule in response to "a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings," without going into details.
Since then, four oil tankers, including two belonging to Saudi Arabia, were targeted in an apparent act of sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, according to officials in the region, and a Saudi pipeline was attacked by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen.
The US also ordered non-essential staff out of Iraq and has dispatched additional military assets to the region.
However, President Donald Trump had said that he hopes the US is not on a path to war with Iran. Asked if the US was going to war with Iran, the president replied, "I hope not" a day after he repeated a desire for dialogue, tweeting, "I'm sure that Iran will want to talk soon."