If there was ever a world leader that was pointedly unsuited to helm a major military power in a time of rising tensions with foreign nations, it would be US president Donald Trump. His administration – lead by the hawkish Pompeo and Bolton – had been pushing for military action and regime change in Iran even before they came into power, and now their actions have shown how relentlessly they want to provoke a conflict. While the steady buildup of provocations and pressure is condemnable naked aggression without justification, the willful actions of Donald Trump give more cause for concern.

It emerged on Friday morning that the US President approved military strikes against Iran on Thursday before changing his mind, apparently 10 minutes before the strikes were scheduled to take place. The word apparently is used because there is still vast amount of confusion over the actual course of events; and contradictions still abound.

Some reports claim that the operation was allegedly under way “in its early stages” when Mr Trump stood the US military down, while the latest tweets by the US president claim that the strikes was halted 10 minutes before it was supposed to take place. Similarly some reports claim that top Pentagon officials warned a military response could result in a spiraling escalation with risks for US forces in the region while other reports claim quote US official as saying the strikes had been recommended by the Pentagon and had been among options presented to senior administration officials.

Mr Trump’s questionable rationale for pulling back – that he was informed at least 150 people would die – also muddies the picture; such details are worked out much earlier and not disclosed just minutes from the operation. 

As things stand we can be certain of one thing; Donald Trump may start a war with Iran with reckless abandon if his moods dictate it, there seems to be no coherent and considered plan leading from the top. The world, and especially the US government and its people, must rein their wild president in.

Cooler heads need to prevail in Washington; their president pulled out of the JCPOA, their president has reinstated sanctions, and their president has been caught flying drones over Iranian airspace. It is Trump, not Iran who is the aggressor.    

These mixed messages coming from the US will do nothing to diffuse the tensions with Iran. In his attempts to intimidate Iran into submission by bluffing with his military arsenal, the US president might get more than what he bargained for.