Trump playing down threat of war with Iran

Cheryl Sanders
May 18, 2019

"There is no fighting whatsoever", Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

The president repeated his complaint during his speech.

According to Israel's Channel 13, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - usually the number one hawk on Iran - told his security chiefs to "take steps to isolate Israel from any developments and ensure Israel is not dragged into this escalation".

Zarif arrived following a visit to Japan - like China, a major importer of crude oil from the Persian Gulf - as part of intense diplomatic efforts to salvage Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers at the centre of a crisis unfolding between Iran and the U.S.

Zarif's remarks on May 16 came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was confident that Tehran will "soon" seek to negotiate with Washington.

The ambassador also said he believed that "President Trump does not want war, but that does not mean that people who are close to him share his opinion"-referring to hard-liners such as national security adviser John Bolton, who Ravanchi said was among those "trying to provoke to agitate to create a necessity grounds for the war or conflict with Iran".

The administration was also due to brief Congress in closed meetings on Thursday about the increasing threat from Iran in the region and possible plots to target Americans interests.

Allied support is vital to the success of USA operations, particularly at sea, but "they're not going to be dragged into anything with us" in a face-off with Iran, said Harmer, a former analyst with the Institute for the Study of War.

In his announcement, Rouhani threatened to go further if the European members of the deal failed to start delivering on their promises to help Iran circumvent U.S. sanctions within 60 days. For Trump to reclaim control over policy toward Iran may right now be the best, however unreliable, hope for keeping the current mess from escalating into war.

"If a war happens, the world will suffer from problem in energy supply", Gen. Saleh Jokar said, according to a report Friday by the semi-official Fars news agency.

Trump grew angry last week and over the weekend about what he sees as warlike planning that is getting ahead of his own thinking, said a senior administration official with knowledge of conversations Trump had regarding national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

On May 8, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would stop observing restrictions on stocks of enriched uranium and heavy water agreed under the nuclear deal in retaliation for the USA withdrawal and the reimposition of sanctions.

Republican lawmakers who have been briefed about the latest intelligence also expressed trust in Trump's response.

On a visit to Tokyo on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Zarif told his Japanese counterpart Taro Kono that his country's response to the U.S. actions - America's pullout from the nuclear deal previous year and the imposition of United States sanctions - is within the deal and Iran's rights.

Congressional leaders are receiving a classified briefing on Iran as members of both parties demand more information on the White House's claims of rising threats in the Middle East. Officials are expected to brief the full Senate next week.

"I think it's fake news", Trump said of The New York Times report. But their significance has prompted a debate among officials within the White House, Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency.

Iran has said it is committed to its obligations under an worldwide nuclear deal despite the United States withdrawal from the agreement previous year, and has called the re-imposition of U.S sanctions unacceptable.

"I'm not angry with them", he said. Chris Murphy of CT said, describing the pressure campaign on Tehran as "ham-handed". "There is no infighting whatsoever", Trump said.

Other reports by iNewsToday