Another day, another Twitter tirade from the president of the United States. During a late-night vent session Sunday night, Donald Trump played some of his greatest hits — “Fake News,” “But What About Hillary and Obama” and “WITCH HUNT” — and revisited a diplomatic strategy that worked once before, but will probably never work again — threatening a world leader over Twitter.
This time, the target of the rampage wasn’t North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. In ALL CAPS Trump warned Rouhani that he should “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN,” or else he will “SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” So basically, a real-life president threatened another real-life president in a way that sounds more reminiscent of a cartoon super villain than anything else.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Trump was supposedly reacting to an address made by President Rouhani earlier that day in which he warned the United States not to “play with the lion’s tail because you will regret it eternally.” He also said the U.S. “must understand that war with Iran is the mother of all wars and peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.” Essentially: we’re willing to broker peace, but don’t mess with us.
Rouhani was speaking to a group of Iranian diplomats and the comments were in reference to a set of United States’ sanctions against Iran set to take affect in November. After Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran Nuclear Deal in May, Iran said that they would remain compliant with the terms of the deal, meaning the other countries signed onto it would not sanction Iran. Since the U.S. has withdrawn, they were able to slap sanctions on the state which could damage the Iranian economy. Rouhani’s “lion’s tail” warning is more about the sanctions than the States backing out of the deal.
I like how he also posted a screenshot of the tweet to his Instagram in case Rouhani is more into the ‘gram pic.twitter.com/AW9eW0Z6iY
— Mike Madden (@MikeMadden) July 23, 2018
In the hours after the President tweeted, Iran state-run media dismissed the tweet as a “passive reaction” to the Iranian President’s statement and other publications and political analysts seemed unconcerned, one calling the tweet “the storm before the calm.”
This could be another Kim Jong Un scenario where POTUS is trying to raise tensions and play the tough guy until the other side decides they want to sit down to a meeting, but it’s far more likely that this is a distraction tactic. After all the negative press following the Russia Summit, the increasingly serious news from the Mueller investigation and the fact that immigrant children still haven’t been reunited with their parents, Trump is probably looking for any way to blow smoke and draw attention away from these real issues.
Also, people were quick to note the latest instance of Newton’s fourth Law of Motion: “For every Trump tweet, there is an equal and opposite Trump tweet.” Several old POTUS statements were unearthed in which he predicted Obama would use war with Iran to gain president points and distract from other narratives. At this point, Trump’s Twitter account is just one long self-fulfilling prophesy.
Trump has repeatedly depicted war with Iran an something a president would do for domestic political gain.
Here are four examples 👇 pic.twitter.com/JdR1qM0BM8
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) July 23, 2018
In slightly lighter news, the formatting of Trump’s threat of war was quickly parodied and memed by the Twitter community. So while you ponder what this means for global relations, please enjoy these little gems of humour.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER EVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP. NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN. NEVER GONNA RUN AROUND AROUND AND DESERT YOU. NEVER GONNA MAKE YOU CRY. NEVER GONNA SAY GOODBYE. NEVER GONNA TELL A LIE AND HURT YOU.
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: YO I TELL YOU WHAT I WANT WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT I TELL YOU WHAT I WANT WHAT I REALLY REALLY WANT SO TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT WHAT YOU REALLY REALLY WANT I WANNA HUH I WANNA HUH I WANNA HUH I WANNA
— Lindsay Ellis (@thelindsayellis) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: BUDDY YOURE A BOY MAKE A BIG NOISE/ PLAYIN IN THE STREET GONNA BE A BIG MAN SOMEDAY/ YOU GOT MUD ON YO FACE/ YOU BIG DISGRACE/ KICKIN YOUR CAN ALL OVER THE PLACE/ SINGIN/ WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU/ WE WILL WE WILL ROCK YOU
— T-5000, probably (@SkyNetDirector) July 23, 2018
To Iranian President Rouhani: RONALD WEASLEY, HOW DARE YOU STEAL THAT CAR. I AM ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTED. YOUR FATHER IS NOW FACING AN INQUIRY AT WORK AND ITS ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT. IF YOU PUT ANOTHER TOE OUT OF LINE WE’LL BRING YOU STRAIGHT HOME.
— Jenny McNamara (@JennyLMcNamara) July 23, 2018