President Trump authorized military strikes against Iran but cancelled the attack just minutes before the missiles would have launched, a move that retired U.S. Navy Capt. Chuck Nash says sent an unmistakable message to the mullahs in Iran.
“I think this was putting a gun to their head, cocking the hammer, and then pulling it off and uncocking it and saying next time I may pull the trigger,” said Nash, who is a longtime expert on the Iranian regime.
Trump says he called off the attack after learning approximately 150 people in Iran were likely to die, a toll he considers disproportionate to shooting down an unmanned U.S. drone.
Nash believes there will be no kinetic response to the drone attack but Trump is leaving no ambiguity as to what will happen if Iran’s provocations result in any loss of life.
“If anything else happens, it’s all on the ayatollahs. It is now. But clearly, for the world, [Trump] pulled back. He got the message across. If they do anything else, Trump has free rein,” warned Nash.
He says Iran is left with a tough dilemma.
“If they do anything that causes the loss of life, this president will literally explode on them. If that happens, they are facing the end of their regime. So they have to weigh in the balance of trying to hold on to the regime over severe public discontent over the economy and the way the country’s being governed – and balance that against losing the regime catastrophically,” said Nash.
Nash says Iran was hoping to prompt Trump to overreact or not react at all in order to distract its people from their domestic disaster. U.S.-led sanctions and Iranian government corruption have Iran in major economic trouble.
“Here’s what’s going on inside Iran: there are demonstrations against the regime weekly. They don’t get any press. They’ve got crushing unemployment,” said Nash, who also detailed the soaring Iranian inflation.
Listen to the full podcast to hear Nash explain more of Iran’s domestic woes, why Europe has no choice but to side with the U.S. now, what we may have learned about Iranian defenses by starting to launch an attack, and how he was once poised to carry out airstrikes as a naval aviator before getting orders to stand down just before takeoff.