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U.S. Official: Trump is privately skeptical on military action against Iran

June 19, 2019

According to a U.S. official, President Donald Trump is privately skeptical on military against Iran.

The official said Trump’s description of Iran’s alleged attack on the Norwegian and Japanese tankers as “very minor” reveals his reluctance to take a military approach against Iran, added to the fact that the tankers were not U.S. ships.

Trump, on Tuesday, said his administration is prepared to confront Iran on their aggression, but did not lay out a military plan against the nation.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said, “We’re looking at Iran. We’re very prepared for Iran. We’ll see what happens.”

“They’ve been a nation of terror,” Trump added. “Now we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens. They are a much different country today than they were two and a half years ago, when I came into office.”

In private, Trump has told his advisers that a regime change in Iran should not be an option, a stance he reiterated during a May news conference in Japan.

But Trump administration officials have made some remarks that heightened tensions between the two nations.

In a “Face the Nation” interview on Sunday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “the United States is considering a full range of options.” When asked if military action was included in that range of options, he said, “Of course.”

Hours after the Pentagon released photos purportedly showing Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from one of the tankers, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan announced that an additional 1,000 troops would be deployed to the Middle East at the request of U.S. Central Command.

Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton both released statements blaming Iran for the attacks, and the president himself said last week that Iran was responsible for the attacks, saying, “It was them that did it.”

Speaking at Central Command on Tuesday, Pompeo said that U.S. would work with partners all around the world. He said, “We’ll continue to provide additional information about those attacks.”

– MK. II

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