The Iranians have a more complex political environment than North Korea. It’s relatively easy for Kim Jong-un to turn on a dime and take advantage of an opportunity; it’s much harder for them to turn on a dime.
Iran, Ms. Maloney noted, reacted relatively calmly to Mr. Trump’s tweet. The country’s leaders, she said, believe that the president is trying to bait them to breach the nuclear deal, which they do not want to do. But his threats are rattling the Iranians, who worry that Mr. Trump’s aides might goad him into a confrontation.
“This is moving quickly,” she said, “and the president has an establishment around him that seems eager for some kind of dust-up with Iran.”