World: Trump, frustrated by advisers, is not convinced the time is right to attack Iran - PressFrom - US
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WorldTrump, frustrated by advisers, is not convinced the time is right to attack Iran

05:15  16 may  2019
05:15  16 may  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Top Trump admin intel, military advisers held meeting at CIA on Iran, say officials

Top Trump admin intel, military advisers held meeting at CIA on Iran, say officials Current and former officials said it is extremely rare for senior White House officials or cabinet members to attend a meeting at CIA headquarters. The officials said the discussion was not about the intelligence that led to the decision in the following days to surge a carrier strike group and bomber task force to the Middle East, but did not describe what the meeting covered.

The Trump administration is laying the groundwork for major military action against Iran , but it may have a hard time rallying domestic and international support. Tensions between the United States and Iran have sharply increased. John Bolton, the national security adviser , has long pushed for

If Iran were to attack any of those forces, it would be a self-fulfilling prophecy—and a provocation, or excuse, for the U.S. to strike back. It is not yet clear what Trump himself wants. ( The Times story said it was “unclear whether the president has been briefed on the number of troops or other details in

The Trump administration has been on high alert in response to what military and intelligence officials have deemed specific and credible threats from Iran against U.S. personnel in the Middle East.

But President Trump is frustrated with some of his top advisers, who he thinks could rush the United States into a military confrontation with Iran and shatter his long-standing pledge to withdraw from costly foreign wars, according to several U.S. officials. Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran’s leaders.

Iran may attack Israel if U.S. standoff escalates: Israeli minister

Iran may attack Israel if U.S. standoff escalates: Israeli minister Iran may attack Israel if U.S. standoff escalates: Israeli minister

But we have already seen that the Trump administration has not been afraid to engage in a The Iranians are growing deeply frustrated , and they appear to be convinced that an alliance headed And as Iran ’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, Tehran is convinced that what he calls “the B Team”

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump on Monday rejected a report that he is considering sending 120,000 troops to counter Iran , but didn’t rule out According to the Times report, the 120,0000 troops under consideration would not be used to invade Iran , something that planners say

Disagreements over assessing and responding to the recent intelligence — which includes a directive from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that some American officials interpret as a threat to U.S. personnel in the Middle East — are also fraying alliances with foreign allies, according to multiple officials in the United States and Europe.

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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.

Trump Denies Iran Threat, Then Revives It in Muddled Response

Trump Denies Iran Threat, Then Revives It in Muddled Response President Donald Trump rejected a report that his administration is planning for war with Iran, but then warned he’d send “a hell of a lot more” than 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event of hostilities. “I think it’s fake news, OK?” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Tuesday after he was asked about a New York Times report that plans envision sending 120,000 U.S. troops to fight the Islamic Republic. “Now would I do that? Absolutely,” Trump then added. “But I have not planned for that. If we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.

A close adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned US President Donald Trump on Tuesday that it “looks like you are going to get a war” with Iran , as the He added, in an apparent reference to mustachioed US National Security Adviser John Bolton, “That’s what happens when you listen to the

The Iranians are openly threatening to start firing missiles at Israel if Trump decides to attack Iran . The Iranians are growing deeply frustrated , and they appear to be convinced that an alliance “If they attempt any move, they will face dozens of missiles because at that time government officials

“They are getting way out ahead of themselves, and Trump is annoyed,” the official said. “There was a scramble for Bolton and Pompeo and others to get on the same page.”

Bolton, who advocated regime change in Iran before joining the White House last year, is “just in a different place” from Trump, although the president has been a fierce critic of Iran since long before he hired Bolton. Trump “wants to talk to the Iranians; he wants a deal” and is open to negotiation with the Iranian government, the official said.

“He is not comfortable with all this ‘regime change’ talk,” which to his ears echoes the discussion of removing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein before the 2003 U.S. invasion, said the official, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.

National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said, “This reporting doesn’t accurately reflect reality.”

Cotton: US could win war with Iran in 'two strikes'

Cotton: US could win war with Iran in 'two strikes' Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), a prominent foreign policy hawk, voiced confidence in a new interview that the U.S. could win a war with Iran, saying it would take "two strikes.""Yes, two strikes," he told "Firing Line's" Margaret Hoover when asked if the U.S. could win a war against Iran. "The first strike and the last strike."Cotton said that he would not advocate for a war with Iran but warned there would be a "furious response" to any provocation against U.S. interests in the region. "I don't advocate military action against Iran.

The contents just got a little more expensive. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images. President Trump is fond of saying China “pays” the tariffs he imposed, and a lot of journalists (including me) are fond of pointing out the tariffs are actually paid by Americans.

Iran obviously wouldn’t have declared those intentions if it believed Trump was likely to respond militarily, now or later. Trump , who reportedly has told associates that if Bolton had his way, the United States would already be at war in multiple places, is right to be wary of his hawkish national

Trump is not inclined to respond forcefully unless there is a “big move” from the Iranians, a senior White House official said. Still, the president is willing to respond forcefully if there are American deaths or a dramatic escalation, the official said.

While Trump grumbles about Bolton somewhat regularly, his discontent with his national security adviser is not near the levels it reached with Rex Tillerson when he served as Trump’s secretary of state, the official added.

Trump denied any “infighting” related to his Middle East policies in a tweet on Wednesday. “There is no infighting whatsoever,” Trump said. “Different opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision — it is a very simple process. All sides, views, and policies are covered. I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”

Trump, frustrated by advisers, is not convinced the time is right to attack Iran© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images National security adviser John Bolton listens while President Trump speaks at the White House on May 13, 2019. On Wednesday morning, the president attended a Situation Room briefing on Iran, a person familiar with the meeting said.

U.S. House speaker: Congress has not approved war against Iran

U.S. House speaker: Congress has not approved war against Iran The Trump administration does not have congressional authorization to go to war against Iran, Nancy Pelosi warned.

The president has a lifetime of experience dodging accountability. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images. President Trump ’s efforts to resist congressional oversight are obstructing more than 20 separate investigations, according to a new analysis by the Washington Post.

The Iranians are openly threatening to start firing missiles at Israel if Trump decides to attack Iran . And this threat should not be taken lightly, because Perhaps the Iranians are correct and the U.S. has no intention of starting a war. But we have already seen that the Trump administration has not

Pentagon and intelligence officials said that three distinct Iranian actions have triggered alarms: information suggesting an Iranian threat against U.S. diplomatic facilities in the Iraqi cities of Baghdad and Irbil; U.S. concerns that Iran may be preparing to mount rocket or missile launchers on small ships in the Persian Gulf; and a directive from Khamenei to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and regular Iranian military units that some U.S. officials have interpreted as a potential threat to U.S. military and diplomatic personnel. On Wednesday, the State Department ordered nonessential personnel to leave the U.S. missions in Baghdad and Irbil.

U.S. and European officials said there are disagreements about Iran’s ultimate intentions and whether the new intelligence merits a more forceful response than to previous Iranian actions.

Some worry that the renewed saber-rattling could create a miscalculation on the ground, said two Western officials familiar with the matter. And Iran’s use of proxy forces, the officials said, means it does not have absolute control over militias, which could attack U.S. personnel and provoke a devastating U.S. response that in turn prompts a counter-escalation.

Bolton warned in a statement last week that “any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”

Trump Says 'I Hope Not' on Prospect of War With Iran

Trump Says 'I Hope Not' on Prospect of War With Iran President Donald Trump said he hopes the U.S. doesn’t go to war with Iran, as tensions rise with the Islamic Republic over his administration’s allegation that Tehran may be preparing an attack. “I hope not,” Trump told reporters on Thursday after he was asked about going to war with Iran while greeting Swiss President Ueli Maurer for a meeting a the White House. The U.S. hastened the deployment of an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf and withdrew some diplomatic personnel from Iraq after claiming intelligence showed a growing threat from Iran or its proxy forces in the Mideast.

According to Bloomberg, Trump ’s midtown flagship Trump Tower is facing a growing vacancy problem, with potential residents frustrated by the stigma and It was not immediately clear what had caused the two small propeller planes, which had pontoons for landing on water, to crash near George Inlet at

The Iranians are openly threatening to start firing missiles at Israel if Trump decides to attack Iran . The Iranians are growing deeply frustrated , and they appear to be convinced that an alliance “If they attempt any move, they will face dozens of missiles because at that time government officials

Military officials have described themselves as torn between their desire to avoid open confrontation with Iran and their concern about the recent intelligence, which led the commander of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., to request a host of additional military assets, including an aircraft carrier and strategic bombers.

Multiple officials said uniformed officers from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, led by its chairman, Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., have been among the leading voices articulating the costs of war with Iran.

Other officials said the view that deterrence rather than conflict was required was “monolithic” across the Pentagon and was shared by civilian officials led by acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan, whom Trump nominated last week to remain in the job but who has not yet been confirmed by the Senate. As the tensions have intensified, Shanahan has been in touch multiple times a day with other senior leaders, including Bolton, Pompeo and Dunford, officials said.

Some defense officials have described Bolton’s more aggressive approach as troubling.

Defense officials said that they are considering whether they will field additional weaponry or personnel to the Persian Gulf region to strengthen their deterrent against possible action by Iran or proxy groups, but that they hope additional deployments will prevent rather than fuel attacks.

Trump’s fears of entangling the United States in another war has been a powerful counterweight to the more bellicose positions of some of his advisers.

Trump more cautious on Iran than top advisers

Trump more cautious on Iran than top advisers President Donald Trump says he hopes there will not be any war with Iran, but tensions are flaring between the U.S. and its Middle East rival. 

Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images. During last week’s seemingly random escalation of the trade war with China, President Trump claimed that the increase in tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on 0 billion of Chinese-made products will force the country to pay 0 billion to the U.S. Treasury.

The Iranians are openly threatening to start firing missiles at Israel if Trump decides to attack Iran . And this threat should not be taken lightly, because Iran has a highly sophisticated ballistic missile arsenal, and Hezbollah has approximately 150,000 missiles pointed directly at Israel right now.

Trump has called the Iraq War a massive and avoidable blunder, and in his political support was built in part on the idea that he would not repeat such a costly expenditure of American blood and treasure.

A new deal with Iran, which Trump has said he could one day envision, would be a replacement for the international nuclear compact he left last year that was forged by the Obama administration. Trump’s early policy on Iran, which predated Bolton’s arrival, was aimed at neutralizing the pact and clearing the way for an agreement he thought would more strictly keep Iran in check.

Trump’s administration has been frustrated, however, that Iran and the rest of the signatories to the nuclear agreement have kept it in force.

Trump’s anger over what he considered a more warlike footing than he wanted was a main driver in Pompeo’s decision last weekend to suddenly cancel a stop in Moscow and on short notice fly instead to Brussels, where he sought meetings on Monday with the European nations that are parties to the Iran nuclear deal, two officials said. Pompeo was not accorded the symbolic welcome of joining their joint Iran-focused meeting. Instead, he met with foreign ministers one by one.

Pompeo’s visit was meant to convey both U.S. alarm over the recent intelligence on Iran and Washington’s desire for diplomacy, not war, two officials said.

But European leaders, who have been watching the febrile atmosphere in Washington with alarm, have not been convinced, according to conversations with 10 European diplomats and officials from seven countries, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive assessments of Washington and Tehran.

Pompeo “didn’t show us any evidence” about his reasons Washington is so concerned about potential Iranian aggression, said one senior European official who took part in one of Pompeo’s meetings. The official’s delegation left the meeting unconvinced of the American case and puzzled about why Pompeo had come at all.

Trump Says No Sign of Iranian Attack But Issues Another Threat

Trump Says No Sign of Iranian Attack But Issues Another Threat President Donald Trump said the U.S. has seen no signs that Iran is preparing to attack American forces but he again threatened the Islamic Republic. “We have no indication that anything is happening or will happen,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Monday. “But if it does it will be met with great force.” Trump has recently heightened U.S. tensions with Tehran, dispatching an aircraft carrier, bombers and other forces to the Persian Gulf region in response to unspecified threats while regularly issuing his own. Earlier this month, the U.S.

The Iranians are openly threatening to start firing missiles at Israel if Trump decides to attack Iran . And this threat should not be taken lightly, because Iran And as Iran ’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, Tehran is convinced that what he calls “the B Team”—Bolton, Bibi, bin Salman, and bin Zayed

Many officials in European capitals said they fear that conflict with Iran could have a cascading effect on their relations with Washington, ripping open divisions on unrelated issues.

They distrust Trump’s Iran policy, fearing that key White House advisers are ginning up rationales for war. And leaders need to win reelection from citizens who hold Trump in low regard and would punish them for fighting alongside Americans on the Iran issue.

Democratic members of Congress, while traditionally strong supporters of pressuring Iran, have also raised questions about the intelligence and the administration’s apparent flirtation with combat. In a statement on the Senate floor on Wednesday, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, demanded “answers from this administration about Iran . . . and about what intelligence this administration has.” So far, he said, the administration has ignored those demands and refused to provide briefings.

“We cannot, and we will not, be led into dangerous military adventurism,” he said.

Anxieties over the heightened threat environment spilled over into Capitol Hill on Wednesday during a classified briefing. Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) argued that the intelligence warranted an escalation against Iran, said one person with knowledge of the briefing. In response, Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton (Mass.) accused her of exaggerating the threat in what the person described as a “very heated exchange.”

A representative for Moulton declined to comment. A spokesman for Cheney said the congresswoman “will never comment on classified briefings and believes that any member or staffer who does puts the security of the nation at risk.”

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Michael Birnbaum in Brussels and Missy Ryan, Karen DeYoung and Carol Morello in Washington contributed to this report.

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Trump Says No Sign of Iranian Attack But Issues Another Threat.
President Donald Trump said the U.S. has seen no signs that Iran is preparing to attack American forces but he again threatened the Islamic Republic. “We have no indication that anything is happening or will happen,” Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a campaign rally in Pennsylvania on Monday. “But if it does it will be met with great force.” Trump has recently heightened U.S. tensions with Tehran, dispatching an aircraft carrier, bombers and other forces to the Persian Gulf region in response to unspecified threats while regularly issuing his own. Earlier this month, the U.S.

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