Donald Trump repeatedly predicted during Barack Obama’s presidency that Obama would start a war with Iran in order to win re-election to a second term in the White House.
Now, after Trump personally authorized an attack that killed one of Iran’s top military officials and dramatically escalated tensions with Iran, those tweets have resurfaced. On Thursday, Trump authorized a military strike at the Baghdad airport that left a number of top Iranian leaders dead, including Qasem Soleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards’ Quds Force.
The White House claimed that Soleimani was planning attacks against U.S. service members abroad, though did not give any specifics about these threats. It was believed that Soleimani authorized an attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad this week.
In the wake of the attack, many took to Twitter to share Trump’s old tweets predicting Obama would start a war with Iran, which include one from November 29, 2011, that predicted Obama would launch a war in order to get re-elected.
“In order to get elected, @BarackObama will start a war with Iran,” Trump wrote.
In other tweets, Trump predicted that Obama would start a war with Iran in order to counteract what Trump saw as low approval ratings from the then-president.
“Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in a tailspin — watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran,” Trump wrote in an October 9, 2012, tweet. “He is desperate.”
At the time Trump wrote the tweet, Obama had a 49.7 percent approval rating, according to the aggregator Real Clear Politics. According to the same pollster, Trump currently has a 44.6 percent approval rating at the time he authorized the strike against Iran’s military leader.
Many commented that the tweets seemed to predict Trump’s own strategy, with the strike against Iran appearing to come without much planning or thought for the consequences. Reports late on Thursday indicated that Trump did not give a warning to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, which is common for major military actions.
It was not clear what step Iran might take after the killing of Soleimani, but the New York Times suggested it would be likely to trigger further military action from Iran that could include attacks against America or its allies.
“Regional analysts said Iran’s leaders were likely to treat General Suleimani’s killing as an act of war. United States officials were braced for potential Iranian retaliatory attacks, possibly including cyberattacks and terrorism, on American interests and allies,” the report noted.