- REUTERS/Leah Millis
- President Donald Trump wants to take a diplomatic strategy when it comes to lowering recent tensions with Iran, rather than allowing it to spiral into an armed conflict, several officials said, according to a Washington Post report published Wednesday.
- Trump’s sentiment is reportedly at odds with some of his staff, including national security adviser John Bolton.
- Foreign policy hardliners like Bolton have alleged that recent provocations from Tehran and its associates were proof that it is plotting against the US.
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President Donald Trump wants to try a diplomatic strategy, when it comes to lowering recent tension with Iran, rather than allowing it to spiral into an armed conflict, several official said in a Washington Post report published Wednesday.
Trump is reportedly frustrated with advisers who are angling for a direct confrontation of Iran, a senior official familiar with the matter said to The Post. Trump’s sentiment is reportedly at odds with some of the staffers, including John Bolton, his hardline national security adviser. Bolton is a known hawk in the foreign policy community and has advocated for regime change in Iran.
The US military deployed several military assets to the region after saying it received “clear indications that Iranian and Iranian proxy forces were making preparations to possibly attack US forces in the region.”
But some US officials accused the Trump administration of exaggerating the Iranian threat, ostensibly to prepare for a conflict.
Trump brushed off news reports suggesting members of his administration were butting heads over policy decisions.
“The Fake News Washington Post, and even more Fake News New York Times, are writing stories that there is infighting with respect to my strong policy in the Middle East,” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. “There is no infighting whatsoever.”
“Different opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision – it is a very simple process,” Trump added. “All sides, views, and policies are covered. I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”
Garrett Marquis a National Security Council spokesman also pushed back telling The Post, “This reporting doesn’t accurately reflect reality.”
The US State Department on Wednesday ordered all nonemergency government employees to leave Iraq due to an “increased threat stream” in the region.
Some US lawmakers worry that Iran’s proxy forces could attack US facilities in Iraq and Syria.
“Right now Americans serving us in Iraq are facing a serious & imminent threat,” Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida said on Twitter.
The US military briefed Trump’s aides on a revamped plan that could result in the deployment of up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East, according to national-security officials cited in a New York Times report. The reported plan calls for the deployment of troops in the event that Iran either attacks US forces or ramps up its nuclear-weapons program.