18:42 GMT23 January 2021
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    Washington’s relations with Tehran have remained severely crippled throughout the four years of Donald Trump’s presidency. The US unilaterally ditched the Iran nuclear deal, ordered the assassination of Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani and has just introduced a new wave of sanctions against a dozen of the country’s steel and metal producers.

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed “one gift” her 2016 presidential rival Donald Trump could grant the US and the world.

    According to the 73-year-old Clinton, it would be a major present if Trump does not “start a war with Iran in his final 15 days in office”.

    “It’s hard to tell whether his administration is making intentional moves or simply displaying incompetence,” the former first lady wrote on Twitter.  

    Clinton also added that Trump officials were playing “a dangerous game”, without specifying the moves or policies she was referring to.

    The unfortunate presidential candidate failed to mention that Trump was the only US president in the last four decades who has not launched any wars or military interventions in foreign countries, unlike her husband Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, in whose administration she served as Secretary of State.

    During her years in the Obama administration, Clinton was one of the masterminds behind the introduction of international sanctions against Tehran to pressure Iranian leadership to curtail its nuclear programme. It is widely believed that these policies helped lead to the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement in 2015, also known as the Iranian nuclear deal, which compelled the country to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium and significantly curtail its stockpile of low-enriched one.

    The deal wasn't favoured by Israel, Saudi Arabia or the Trump administration, which unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018, prompting Tehran to restart the enrichment of uranium at a purity level of 20%.

    A ‘Classified’ Attack Under Plan?

    Clinton’s tweet came following a report from Vietnam war-era whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, claiming that President Donald Trump was carrying out “highly classified planning” to provoke Iran into an action that would allow Washington to respond with an attack against the country as the US president has allegedly “wanted to do for years”. It has proved to be difficult to substantiate claims of such kind.

    A year ago, the US president approved a targeted US drone strike that killed Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad – a move decried by Iran's leadership and many global powers as contradicting international law.

    Tehran promised to avenge the general’s death and later launched missiles against US airbases in Iraq where American military personnel was stationed. However, the move was described by many as only half-hearted, from what Iran could have been intending to. America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation is now probing reports into a planned attack on the US Capitol building, following a circulating message threatening to “avenge” Soleimani death with the action.

    People attend a vigil marking the one year anniversary of the killing of Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a U.S. drone attack, in Sanaa, Yemen January 2, 2021.
    People attend a vigil marking the one year anniversary of the killing of Iranian military commander General Qassem Soleimani and Iraqi militia commander Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis in a U.S. drone attack, in Sanaa, Yemen January 2, 2021.

    Meanwhile, Iran has again requested global policing agency Interpol to issue an international warrant for "the main culprit" Donald Trump for ordering the drone strike against Soleimani. The body previously rejected a similar request on the ground that it does not want to deal with political or military matters, but the decision in regards to the new application has not been made public yet.

    This comes a few days after Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif claimed on Twitter citing “new intelligence from Iraq” that Israeli “provocateurs” were plotting false flag attacks against Americans in a bid to trick the US into war with Iran.

    As the final days of Trump administration loom near, the United States has issued fresh sanctions against 12 Iranian steel and metal giants, including Pasargad Steel Complex and the Gilan Steel Complex Co, to effectively deprive the “Iranian regime” from revenues used to finance “a range of nefarious activities”, the Department of the Treasury said in a statement published on Tuesday, announcing the measures.

    Iran, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, United States
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