U.S. President Donald Trump has told his top advisers he does not want to get the United States involved in a war with Iran, three U.S. officials said on Thursday (May 16). “He doesn’t want to go to war. It’s not who he is,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
But he has also made clear that he will protect U.S. interests in the region, one official said. U.S. intelligence showed heightened activity by Iran or its proxies that U.S. officials took as a threat against American targets in the region. Tensions have escalated in recent days with increasing concerns about a potential U.S.-Iran conflict. Earlier this week the United States pulled some diplomatic staff from its embassy in Baghdad following weekend attacks on four oil tankers in the Gulf.
“The president has been clear, the United States does not seek military conflict with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership. However, Iran’s default option for 40 years has been violence, and we will protect U.S. personnel and interests in the region,” said Garrett Marquis, spokesman for the White House National Security Council.
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20 July, 2019