Fox News books then ‘cancels’ Geraldo Rivera after says he will urge Trump to show restraint over Iran

'Supporters of Donald Trump have to have the guts to tell him this war is a stupid idea'

Sean Hannity floats idea of bombing Iran oil refineries to cause 'major poverty'

Conservative talk show host Geraldo Rivera has claimed his Fox News appearance was cancelled after he said he would urge Donald Trump to show restraint in the ongoing political crisis with Iran.

In a sign of a split at the network over how to respond to the president’s escalation of tensions, Mr Rivera suggested he was pulled from Sean Hannity’s show over his opposition to military action.

The talk show host, who is a regular Fox News contributor, has repeatedly called for Mr Trump to act as a peace maker in the conflict and avoid another war in the Middle East.

“Supporters of @realDonaldTrump have to have the guts to tell him this war is a stupid idea,” Mr Rivera tweeted on Tuesday.

Fox News’ regular commentators have been deeply split over how Mr Trump should respond to Iranian threats of retaliation after the killing of general Qassem Soleimani.

Host Tucker Carlson has criticised conservatives who have pushed for military conflict with Iran, while contributor Pete Hegseth has cheered on the president's confrontational approach.

The right-wing network is thought to be one of Mr Trump's main sources of news and has been noted as a key guide for his decision-making on political issues.

On Friday morning, a discussion between Mr Rivera and Brian Kilmeade on the channel descended into chaos when Mr Kilmeade said he would “cheer on” military attacks against Iran.

“Then you, like [senator] Lindsey Graham, have never met a war you didn't like,” Mr Rivera told the Fox & Friends presenter.

Fox News has been approached for comment on the alleged cancellation.

Mr Hannity’s show on Tuesday, sans Mr Rivera, included a discussion with senator Ted Cruz, in which Mr Hannity floated the idea of bombing oil refineries in Iran to create “major poverty”.

“They have three major refineries in Iran, senator. Three,” Mr Hannity said.

“I would imagine those refineries blew up one day, they got themselves a hell of a domestic problem, because that's going to result in major poverty for the people of Iran.”

The Fox News host then suggested the US could encourage regime change in the country by arming citizens who want to take down the Iranian government.

“If they want regime change, that's up to them. Maybe we could help them with arms and help them, you know,” he said.

The political crisis in the Middle East escalated again on Wednesday after Iran launched missile strikes against two US-Iraqi airbases.

Mr Trump tweeted in response that “all is well” following the attack and said assessments of casualties and damages were “so far, so good”.

Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister, has suggested the attack is the only retaliation planned for the killing of Soleimani and could signal the end of the conflict.

“We do not seek escalation or war, but will defend ourselves against any aggression,” Mr Zarif said in a statement.

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