We might be witnessing the beginning of an escalation. It would be the escalation that culminates in the Second Signpost.
On January 29, Iran launched a new medium-range ballistic missile, one capable of hitting Israel as well as most of the Middle East. On February 1, the Trump administration put “Iran on notice.”
Of course the problem with doing such a thing – drawing a “red line” – is that one must be ready to make good on the consequences of crossing that line or one loses credibility. Obama’s red line in Syria regarding chemical weapons was crossed and Obama did nothing.
Trump is not Obama. Trump strikes me as a bit of a loose cannon; someone who shoots from the hip, and is highly reactionary.
So did Iran back down? For a few days it looked like they might. But as of yesterday, no. Iran went ahead and launched another ballistic missile. This one was a new design of a surface to air missile (SAM), launched from Semnan, east of Tehran. It wasn’t a medium range ballistic missile, but a missile meant to take down aircraft.
If this whole scenario between the US president and Iran is indeed an escalation towards war, we should expect the Trump administration to make the next move.