Marie Harf, the Senior Adviser of Strategic Communications under former Secretary of State John Kerry, is having a tough time understanding what message President Trump is trying to communicate to Iran with his Sunday night tweet to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Acting Spokesperson Marie Harf Holds State Dep't Press Briefing
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I'm stunned by Harf's inability to comprehend such a clear message, typed in caps so that there could be no misunderstanding:

Yet, the Fox News contributor seemed hopelessly perplexed by the tweet.

"Or what? Whats the president going to do? He's going to attack Iran?," she asked during an appearance on America's Newsroom.

Donald Trump doesn't do diplomacy the way that Barack Obama did diplomacy. There are no disappearing red lines with this administration. Imagine if Trump were President when Iran captured 10 American sailors in January 2016 who, according to Kerry, "regrettably, inadvertently" drifted into Iranian waters? Those sailors were held at gunpoint and filmed while on their knees with their hands behind their heads, a clear violation of the Geneva Convention.

President Obama Announces He's Rejecting The Keystone Oil Pipeline
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The Iranians released the hostages 24 hours later, drawing praise from Kerry. "I could not be and I know the president could not be prouder of our men and women in uniform. I also want to thank the Iranian authorities for their cooperation and quick response," he said at the time.

Kerry noted that the Iranians gave our men food and blankets while they waited to be released. How sweet.

The incident occurred during the implementation of the Iran Nuclear Deal as sanctions against Iran were being lifted. The "Death to America" rallies continued unabated. Trump has since withdrawn the U.S. from the accord, prompting renewed threats from Rouhani, who is vowing to lead the "mother of all wars" against the U.S.

Trump is not looking to pick a fight with Iran but he and most, if not all, of the allies agree that Iran cannot possess nuclear weapons. Period.

We will not stand by while Iran threatens us, either. A strong leader makes his position crystal clear and leaves no room for interpretation. A smart adversary will take that as a sign that it is time to negotiate.

Lets hope Rouhani is smart enough to get the message.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. 

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