TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – US President Donald 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 US officials.
Trump prefers a diplomatic approach to resolving tensions and wants to speak directly with Iran’s leaders, the officials said, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Trump grew angry last week and over the weekend about 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.
“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 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.
When asked about the accounts of Trump’s frustration with Bolton, National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis said, “This reporting doesn’t accurately reflect reality.”
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.”
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined earlier this week that there will be no military confrontation between Iran and the US as Washington is aware that it won’t be in its interest, adding that negotiation with the US is not on the Islamic Republic’s agenda either.
The Leader said on Tuesday that any confrontation between the US and Iran would not be “a military one,” and that “there was not going to be any war.”
“The Iranian nation’s definite option will be resistance in the face of the US, and in this confrontation, the US would be forced into a retreat,” Ayatollah Khamenei said. “Neither we nor they, who know war will not be in their interest, are after war.”