Only three days after publicly declaring he hopes the United States won’t fight a war against Iran, president Donald Trump on Sunday suddenly backtracked on this statement, saying a war will be “the official end of Iran.“

“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” tweeted Trump.

Observers noted his tweet came only a few hours after a rocket exploded less than a mile from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad's walled-off Green Zone, the first such attack since September 2018. An Iraqi military spokesman said the rocket appeared to have been fired from east Baghdad, which is controlled by some Iran-backed Shiite militias.

Trump’s bluster and renewed talk of war stands in marked contrast to his statements made May 17 and confirmed by acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan he doesn’t want to get the United States involved in a war with Iran.

Trump is also reputed to have said he wants to keep tensions with Tehran from boiling over into an armed conflict. He told reporters the day before he hoped the U.S. isn’t heading to war with Iran as he met with Swiss President Ueli Maurer.

“Hope not,” said Trump when asked by reporters if Washington is going make war on Iran.

Trump’s Sunday tweet has an eerie ring similar to the warlike comments made last year by national security adviser John Bolton -- one of the leading proponents for a war against Iran -- who predicted the Iranian regime was to have fallen before 2019.

“The behavior and the objectives of the (Iranian) regime are not going to change and therefore the only solution is to change the regime itself. And that’s why, before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran. Thank you very much,” said Bolton in answer to a question.

Iran claimed the U.S. is trying to raise tensions in the Middle East to provoke a war, but said it has no intention of fighting one against the U.S.

Last Tuesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei responded to news about the U.S. plans to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East by saying Iran does not seek war with the United States but “has chosen the path of resistance.”

In his speech on Iranian state TV, Khamenei also said Iran won’t negotiate the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal. He also emphasized war is not an option for Iran.

“There won’t be any war. The Iranian nation has chosen the path of resistance,” said Khamenei. “We don’t seek a war, and they don’t either. They know it’s not in their interests.”

The Trump administration last week deployed a carrier strike group to the Middle East in light of alleged “indications and warnings” from Iran. The move is meant to show the United States will retaliate with “unrelenting force” to any attack, Bolton noted. A ranking administration official, however, said the U.S. is not expecting an imminent Iranian attack.