25,991. 6/25/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump warned on Tuesday [6-25-19] that any attack Iran might carry out ‘on anything American’ would result in the ‘obliteration’ of parts of Iran, responding angrily to comments by President Hassan Rouhani that the White House was ‘mentally handicapped.’ The sudden exchange of threats and insults was at least a temporary setback to Mr. Trump’s earlier efforts to de-escalate the confrontation and move toward negotiations. After his decision last week to call off a military strike in retaliation for the downing of an unmanned reconnaissance drone, Mr. Trump had held out the possibility of negotiations with ‘no preconditions’ and said he was not looking for war, even as he insisted that Iran would never be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon. The president’s belligerent comments stood in contrast to the message delivered on Tuesday by other administration officials, who reiterated that the United States wanted to negotiate. ‘The United States is not looking to go to war with Iran,’ said Mark T. Esper, the acting defense secretary. ‘Rather, we want to get to a diplomatic path.’”

David E. Sanger, David D. Kirkpatrick and Isabel Kershner, “Trump Threatens ‘Obliteration’ of Iran, as Sanctions Dispute Escalates,” The New York Times online, June 25, 2019

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