The Sift Here’s what we’re Sifting today

Rocket lands near U.S. Embassy in Baghdad

by Harvest Prude
Posted 5/20/19, 11:54 am

President Donald Trump warned Iran not to threaten the United States after a rocket landed less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday. A low-grade rocket exploded in Baghdad’s Green Zone, home to the government’s headquarters and the U.S. Embassy. The explosion caused no casualties or damages to any U.S. buildings, and Iraqi Security Forces are investigating the explosion, the U.S. military command said. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” Trump tweeted on Sunday.

Tensions have been high in the region, but Iranian officials have said the country is not looking for war. Two Iranian news agencies reported Monday that the country has quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium. The reports by Fars and Tasim news services said the production does not exceed the limits of the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran reached with world powers, but it means that Iran soon will go beyond the stockpile limitations established by the accord.

Recently, the White House pulled nonessential staff from Iraq and ordered bombers and warships to the Persian Gulf following unspecified threats from Iran. Administration officials are scheduled to brief lawmakers behind closed doors on Tuesday about U.S. intelligence on Iran.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, said Sunday that the kingdom is not looking for war with Iran but is prepared to defend itself: “We want peace and stability in the region, but we won’t stand with our hands bound.” On May 12, four oil tankers were attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates a day after Iran-allied rebels claimed responsibility for another attack on a Saudi oil pipeline.

WORLD has updated this report to include the latest on Iran’s uranium production.

Read more from The Sift Sign up for The Sift email
Harvest Prude

Harvest is a reporter for WORLD based in Washington, D.C.

Read more from this writer


You must be a WORLD Member and logged in to the website to comment.
  • OldMike
    Posted: Mon, 05/20/2019 02:23 pm

    No question that if Iran starts something, our military can overwhelm them. 

    But two big problems:  First, Iran apparently doesn’t believe that. I guess if you interpret your scriptures to say Allah will fight for you to defeat the infidel, you figure the odds don’t matter. Particularly if you think Allah has said you must start a holy war, that will result in the return of the Mahdi, and lead to Islamic rule and Islamic justice over the whole world. 

    Second, any attacks, at least in the beginning, are liable to come from shadowy third party Islamic groups. So the world questions whether Iran was really behind them. And thus, any retaliation against Iran will be viewed as misplaced and wrong. Sort of like the debate that continues today over our actions that have followed the 9/11 attacks on the US. 

    Some also see a potential third problem, the possible involvement of Russia or others on Iran’s side. I myself believe the Russians are far more capable of rational thinking than Islamists, and therefore will avoid overt and direct involvement. I.e. we won’t see combat between US and Russian troops. But of course the Russians will provide covert material and intelligence assistance. That won’t be enough to help Iran. 

    And this is all from a dumb redneck, so take it for what it’s worth.