World: As U.S. Boosts Pressure, Iran Tests Trump's Appetite for a Fight - PressFrom - US
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WorldAs U.S. Boosts Pressure, Iran Tests Trump's Appetite for a Fight

20:45  18 june  2019
20:45  18 june  2019 Source:   bloomberg.com

Don't open 'Pandora's Box' in Middle East, China warns

Don't open 'Pandora's Box' in Middle East, China warns The Chinese government's top diplomat warned on Tuesday that the world should not open a "Pandora's Box" in the Middle East, as he denounced U.S. pressure on Iran and called on it not to drop out of a landmark nuclear deal. Fears of a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since last Thursday when two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman. The United States blamed Iran for the attacks, more than a year after President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Trump may be even less willing to consider military force this week given he will symbolically kick off his re-election campaign on Tuesday in Florida. Though he campaigned in 2016 on promises to get out of overseas conflicts, Trump has struggled to draw down troops in Syria and Afghanistan, and now is in

Others suspect Trump or his advisers want conflict with Iran , which is an enemy of U . S . friends The pressure campaign intensified last month when Washington stopped giving some of Iran ’ s oil Iran is also betting that Trump has no appetite for another war in the Middle East, Slavin and others said

As U.S. Boosts Pressure, Iran Tests Trump's Appetite for a Fight© REUTERS/Michelle McLoughlin/File Photo U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton speaks during a graduation ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump’s campaign vow to get the U.S. out of costly foreign entanglements is colliding with the messy reality of America’s commitments in the Middle East, where tensions are rising between Washington and Tehran after attacks on two tankers last week.

The dilemma emerged again as the administration ordered another 1,000 troops to the region on Monday in response to what Trump officials say was Iran’s role in the latest strikes. The Tehran government has rejected those accusations.

Pompeo on Iran: "President Trump does not want war"

Pompeo on Iran: Pompeo spoke to reporters after the administration announced 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East

BEIRUT, Lebanon — In its campaign to throttle Iran into submission, the Trump administration has in the last several weeks applied smothering force — blocking the country’ s last avenues for selling oil, classifying the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization and deploying

The confluence of events will test Trump ’ s weak appetite for military action, his ability to rally allies he “President Trump has been trying to put maximum pressure on Iran with minimum cost for the And Trump ’ s willingness to fight with European nations on other fronts — such as by imposing trade

So far the international response to the U.S. charges has been muted. With the rhetoric on both the American and Iranian sides rising, the relatively small deployment announced Monday appears calibrated to show the U.S. will push back on what it sees as Iran’s bad behavior without changing the balance of American power in the region.

“Trump is very determined to avoid getting dragged into a military conflict if he can avoid it,” said Gary Samore, a former White House coordinator for arms control and weapons of mass destruction in the Obama administration.

The president seemed to reinforce that impression in a Time magazine interview published late Monday. “So far, it’s been very minor,” he said of the attacks. Asked if he was considering a military confrontation, he told Time, “I wouldn’t say that. I can’t say that at all.”

Trump officials will brief Congress on Iran as tensions escalate

Trump officials will brief Congress on Iran as tensions escalate Trump administration officials will brief congressional leaders on Thursday about Iran amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said at her weekly press conference that officials would brief leadership and senior members of both parties and both chambers of Congress along with members of committees with jurisdiction over the issue. The briefing comes after the U.S. military said Iran shot down an American drone in international waters in an "unprovoked attack." "So, we'll learn more in that briefing as to what is happening there.

“ Iran did do it,” Trump told Fox News on Friday, hours after the U . S . military released grainy video footage it says shows a small Iranian ship sidling Iran is also betting that Trump has no appetite for another war in the Middle East, Slavin and others said, even if national security adviser John Bolton

“ Iran did do it,” Trump told Fox News on Friday, hours after the U . S . military released grainy video The pressure campaign intensified last month when Washington stopped giving some of Iran ’ s oil Iran is also betting that Trump has no appetite for another war in the Middle East, Slavin and others

A Navy explosives expert who briefed reporters on the attacks at the Pentagon on Monday said the mines attached to a Japanese tanker were above the water line, which may indicate the attackers meant to damage the ship but not destroy it. A Pentagon spokesman later said the expert wasn’t part of the U.S.’s official investigation into the attacks.

Analysts say that the broader Trump approach to foreign policy -- exerting maximum pressure on adversaries to force concessions -- raises the risk of an unintended conflict and has yet to pay off. From Tehran to Caracas to Pyongyang, U.S. efforts to force hostile regimes to back down have met stubborn resistance, despite threats or demands from officials including National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

Read More: Pentagon Shares New Photos, Timeline of Gulf Oil Tanker Attacks

Before Bolton joined the Trump administration last year, he publicly advocated war with Iran to eliminate its nuclear program. And it was Pompeo who last year announced a lengthy list of demands Iran had to meet to enter talks with the U.S., only to have the president say he just wished officials in Tehran would call him to work things out.

Bolton says way is open for Iran to enter talks with U.S.

Bolton says way is open for Iran to enter talks with U.S. U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, speaking after the United States increased sanctions against Iranian officials, said Washington was still willing to talk to Iran. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "The president has held the door open to real negotiations to completely and verifiably eliminate Iran's nuclear weapons programme, its ballistic missile delivery systems, its support for international terrorism and other malign behaviour worldwide," Bolton said in Jerusalem.

WASHINGTON — President Trump said on Monday that he was designating a powerful arm of the Iranian military as a foreign terrorist organization , the first time that the United States has named part of another nation’ s government as that type of official threat.

The confluence of events will test Trump ’ s weak appetite for military action, his ability to rally allies he “President Trump has been trying to put maximum pressure on Iran with minimum cost for the And Trump ’ s willingness to fight with European nations on other fronts — such as by imposing trade

As U.S. Boosts Pressure, Iran Tests Trump's Appetite for a Fight© Bloomberg President Trump Speaks At Annual Meeting On Combating People Trafficking

“If it was up to others like Bolton and Pompeo, they would advocate more aggressive action but I don’t see any sign Trump is spoiling for a fight,” Samore said.

The mixed messages and a general distrust of American motives have fueled doubts about U.S. intentions toward Iran, even among allies. The situation has been exacerbated, analysts say, by Trump’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear accord and his administration’s general skepticism of alliances and multilateral institutions.

Read a Quicktake on why the U.S.-Iran conflict is coming to a head

“Unfortunately, our great comparative advantage as a nation — building and working with alliances — has eroded, particularly with respect to Iran,” Brett McGurk, Trump’s former envoy to the global coalition to combat the Islamic State, wrote in a tweet June 14. “Key western allies warned of this very circumstance and sequence of events when the US began its maximum pressure campaign a year ago.”

Trump may be even less willing to consider military force this week given he will symbolically kick off his re-election campaign on Tuesday in Florida. Though he campaigned in 2016 on promises to get out of overseas conflicts, Trump has struggled to draw down troops in Syria and Afghanistan, and now is in the position of sending more forces to the Middle East as he tries to convince voters he deserves another four years in office.

Trump says any war with Iran 'would not last very long,' but he still hopes for no conflict

Trump says any war with Iran 'would not last very long,' but he still hopes for no conflict President Trump says "I hope we don't" have a war with Iran but it "would not last very long." In an interview on Fox Business, Trump also says "I decided not to kill a lot of Iranians," referring to his decision to call off military strikes on Iran after it shot down a U.S. military surveillance drone last week. On Tuesday, Trump warned that any Iranian attack on Americans would be met with "great and overwhelming force" and "obliteration.

Mr. Trump ’ s decision, while long anticipated and widely telegraphed, plunges America’ s relations Iran said it will remain in the deal, which tightly restricted its nuclear ambitions for a decade or more The Trump administration, he said, would continue to work with Europeans to pressure the Iranians .

Trump ’ s decision to violate the Iran agreement could potentially trigger a new crisis in the Gulf. Izadi said Iran can withstand the pressure . “For 40 years, we have been living under sanctions. The collapse of the nuclear deal will mean that we have to find ways to circumvent sanctions, something we have

Sensing inconsistencies in Trump’s strategy, leaders in Tehran may even be trying to call the president’s bluff.

Limited Options

Iranian officials have indicated the country may stop abiding by some elements of the 2015 nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, in days, a move experts argue is a carefully calibrated bid to exert new pressure for sanctions relief on European nations that have urged Iran to remain in the deal.

Short of war, options for additional U.S. pressure include stepping up military escorts for tankers in the Gulf region or striking boats or facilities belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. has said was involved in the latest attacks.

Air Force General Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs, said Tuesday in Washington that the U.S. has communicated a message to Iran of “hands off -- don’t come after our forces” in public statements as well as through Iraqi and Swiss intermediaries.

If Iran “comes after U.S. citizens, U.S. assets or the U.S. military we reserve the right to respond with military action -- and they need to know that,” Silva, the No. 2 U.S. military official, said at a breakfast with defense reporters.

Selva, who’s retiring next month, said tanker escorts like those the U.S. organized in the 1980s, would be “ill-advised” unless the “international community” fully participates.

Iran tells UN it cannot save nuclear deal

Iran tells UN it cannot save nuclear deal Iran told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that it cannot "alone" save the nuclear deal, turning up pressure on the Europeans, Russia and China as it moved toward a possible breach of its commitments to limit its nuclear activities. 

President Trump has made no secret of his desire to isolate and impoverish Iran . After withdrawing last year from the nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration and five other nations, Mr. Trump launched his campaign of “maximum pressure ” designed to change Iran ’ s behavior — and perhaps

Iran tests Trump ’ s desire to actually strike a new deal. Tusk faces Polish tax probe. EU plays it cool on Iran nuclear threat. Military specialists said Iran could also be calculating its actions to minimize the chance of a large-scale confrontation with the U . S .

‘Lot of Hysteria’

“There’s a lot of hysteria that holding Iran accountable has to be justified as a prelude to war,” said Ray Takeyh, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “We’re already in the midst of a low-intensity conflict that has managed to regulate itself.”

Yet even some of Trump’s most stalwart of allies, such as Republican Representative Michael McCaul of Texas, the ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, caution that the U.S. and Iran must not edge closer to conflict.

McCaul said that American forces in the region are in a “defensive posture” to protect transit through the Straits of Hormuz and he warned that military action against Iran would be “very, very complicated.”

“I don’t think anyone has the appetite for war, although we do have military plans, obviously, contingency plans, in the event that is to happen,” McCaul said on Bloomberg Television. “I would caution that Iran is about the size of Iraq and Afghanistan combined and it would be very, very complicated."

--With assistance from Margaret Talev, Daniel Flatley and Tony Capaccio.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nick Wadhams in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Bill Faries at [email protected], John Harney

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Iran's Zarif rejects Trump idea of short war as 'illusion'.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Thursday warned that US President Donald Trump was mistaken in thinking a war between their countries would not last long. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "'Short war' with Iran is an illusion," Zarif tweeted a day after Trump said he does not want a war with Iran but warned that if fighting did break out, it "wouldn't last very long". The foreign minister also tweeted: "Whoever begins war will not be the one ending it.

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