Mr Trump is playing out a strategy with Iran commonly known among negotiators as the “madman theory” which could lead the US into a war, according to Neil Clothier, senior expert at sales and negotiations specialists Huthwaite International. His approach, which was also adopted by the 37th President of the United States Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War, usually sees a leader giving the impression they are ready to do anything to achieve their goal. In this case, Mr Trump is signalling he isn’t afraid of waging war against Iran to annihilate Tehran’s nuclear power.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have been escalating since May 2018, when Mr Trump decided to pull out of the JCPOA, also known as Iran nuclear deal, and reintroduce economic sanctions against the country.
The US President has recently warned Tehran on Twitter not to “threaten” his country unless it desires to be “ended”.
This uncommon tactic, which Mr Trump has also used with North Korea, may be effective, but it’s extremely risky, Mr Clothier warned.
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He told Express.co.uk: “We’re no strangers, now, to the President of the United States taking to Twitter to air his political rhetoric, and as tensions have escalated between the US and Iran over the past week, we’ve certainly seen a war of words breaking out between Donald Trump and Iranian Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif.
“On Sunday, the US President took to Twitter to publicly declare that ‘If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran, in a move that is akin to classic ‘madman’ behaviour tactics.
“Whilst this may have been used as a form of negotiation in the past, it remains a risky strategy, particularly when played out on the global political stage.
“In negotiations, this approach aims to emphasise an initial stance, which will then help pave the way for forcing a lesser, but related, demand upon the opposition.
“This can work as a clever and often unexpected approach, but more often than not can lead to the opposition reacting negatively.
“And this is certainly true of the situation between the US and Iran.
“If Mr Trump isn’t careful, he could end up tweeting his way to World War 3, and countries such as China will be waiting in the wings in order to capitalise on any fallout.”
The US President told his allies he doesn’t want a war with Iran, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed earlier this month during a visit to Iraq.
This position was reiterated by Mr Trump himself days later, as on May 20 he wrote on Twitter Washington has been trying to “set up a negotiation with Iran”.
He said: “The Fake News put out a typically false statement, without any knowledge that the United States was trying to set up a negotiation with Iran. This is a false report.
“Iran will call us if and when they are ever ready. In the meantime, their economy continues to collapse – very sad for the Iranian people!”
But, Mr Pompeo added the US is ready to deliver a “swift and decisive” response to any attack from Iran.
Tehran, despite Mr Trump’s attempts to isolate the country and bring its oil exports to zero, isn’t signalling it will cave in any time soon.
Responding to Mr Pompeo’s suggestion Mr Trump hopes to “someday meeting Iranian leaders”, Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman of the Supreme National Security Council, said the country won’t meet a US delegation for talks “under any circumstances” until Iran’s rights “are satisfied”.
And Mr Zarif added in a recent interview “Iran never negotiates with coercion”.
He added: “You cannot threaten any Iranian and expect them to engage.
“The way to do it is through respect, not through threats.”