Categories for Iran

27,287. 8/8/2019

FRANCE/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran is in serious financial trouble. They want desperately to talk to the U.S., but are given mixed signals from all of those purporting to represent us, including President Macron of France….”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 8, 2019 12:51 pm

27,161. 8/3/2019

IRAN/RELIGION/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “RT @RepMarkMeadows: Joining @VP condemning Iran’s reported punishment of Mahrokh Kanbari for practicing her Christian beliefs. America ca…”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 3, 2019 7:23 am

27,129. 8/2/2019

EU/IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “George H.W. Bush led a coalition of some three dozen countries that kicked Saddam Hussein’s Iraq out of Kuwait in 1991. George W. Bush had his ‘coalition of the willing’ behind the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. But so far, Donald Trump’s coalition to protect oil tankers from alleged Iranian aggression appears to have just one member — the United States. The British have demurred, the French are noncommittal and the Germans on Wednesday [7-31-19] flat out said no. They’re all still smarting from the president’s exit from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which they say is partly responsible for Tehran’s suspected bellicose behavior. They’re also worried that aligning with the U.S. on such an initiative could drag them into a war with Iran. Those concerns have only risen this week after Trump imposed sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister.”

Nahal Toosi, “Trump’s coalition of one,” Politico, August 2, 2019 5:04 am

27,123. 8/1/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Retired Adm. William McRaven, a former Navy SEAL who led US Joint Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014, said Thursday [8-1-19] that he has serious doubts about President Donald Trump’s claim that he called off retaliatory strikes on Iran at the last minute because that is when he learned there would be casualties…McRaven, who oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, told reporters that he was ultimately happy with the President’s last moment decision not to carry out the strikes after the downing of a US drone in June and agreed it would not have been a proportional response. However, the retired admiral made it clear that he found it ‘hard to believe’ Trump stopped the strike at the last minute upon learning that there would be casualties. Drawing on his experience in similar situations, McRaven said the casualty count is typically part of the detailed briefing given to the president and national security adviser when they first request military options.”

Zachary Cohen, “Architect of bin Laden raid doubts Trump’s account of why he called off Iran strikes at last minute,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, August 1, 2019 9:00 pm

27,103. 8/1/2019

CHINA/DEMS/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “China, Iran & other foreign countries are looking at the Democrat Candidates and ‘drooling’ over the small prospect that they could be dealing with them in the not too distant future. They would be able to rip off our beloved USA like never before. With President Trump, NO WAY!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 1, 2019 9:24 am

27,090. 7/31/2019

IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The United States on Wednesday [7-31-19] imposed sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, an extraordinary move that could vastly complicate President Donald Trump’s stated desire to launch new negotiations with Iran. The sanctions are sure to further escalate tensions between Washington and Tehran — strains that have grown since Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal last year and which some fear could ultimately lead to a military conflict. In June, Trump imposed sanctions targeting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Muslim cleric with final word on matters of state. The decision to target Zarif, the Iranian regime’s well-traveled chief diplomat, cuts off the man who has directly negotiated with the U.S. in recent years…The Zarif sanctions come as the Trump administration is expected to renew waivers on a handful of nuclear-related projects in Iran over the vociferous objections of hawks in the U.S. who say eliminating the waivers is necessary to further pressure the regime in Tehran.”

Nahal Toosi and Katy O’Donnell, “Trump sanctions Iran’s chief diplomat,” Politico, July 31, 2019 8:49 pm

27,059. 7/31/2019

IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Trump administration took the unusual step on Wednesday [7-31-19] of placing sanctions on Iran’s foreign minister, essentially cutting off the clearest avenue for talks with Iran by punishing the man who negotiated the 2015 nuclear agreement. Senior administration officials described the foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif — an American-educated diplomat who is well connected throughout the United States — as the ‘propaganda arm’ of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In withdrawing last year from the nuclear accord, the administration argued that the move was intended to open negotiations. But with Mr. Zarif sidelined, it was unclear who else might serve as an experienced intermediary for Tehran in any potential talks. The administration has already imposed sanctions on the country’s remaining power centers, Ayatollah Khamenei and the elite military organization, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.”

David E. Sanger and Michael Crowley, “Trump Administration Imposes Sanctions on Iran’s Top Diplomat,” The New York Times online, July 31, 2019

27,020. 7/29/2019

IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Just remember, the Iranians never won a war, but never lost a negotiation!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 29, 2019 3:40 pm

26,944. 7/26/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/WAR: “This week President Donald Trump demonstrated one of the most consistent themes of his presidency — speak loudly but carry a very small stick. Talking about Afghanistan in his meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office ‘I could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people.’ How many times have we heard a variation of ‘tough’ Trump? To name a couple of examples, he vowed to use fire and fury on North Korea, but he didn’t do it. And he has made empty threats of a US military intervention against President Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela. But the country that the President seems the most determined to consistently show his tough side to is Iran…But there’s little doubt that Trump — who has shown a degree of risk-aversion when it actually comes to using military force, despite his tough talk — would like to avoid a conflict with Iran if possible. He knows that once one begins it might be very difficult to control, let alone stop.”

Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky, “With Iran, Trump speaks loudly but (fortunately) carries a small stick,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, July 26, 2019 1:01 pm

26,808. 7/22/2019

CIA/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do. Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 22, 2019 8:08 am

26,745. 7/19/2019

IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran’s most revered Revolutionary Guards commander says talking with President Trump would be admitting defeat. The country’s supreme leader has ruled out any dealings with Washington. But now, in a surprising split among Iranian hard-liners, some are expressing a different opinion: It’s time to sit down and resolve 40 years of animosity with the United States, by talking directly to Mr. Trump. And the most striking voice in that contrarian group is former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, largely known in the West for his anti-American bombast, Holocaust denial, and suspiciously lopsided victory in a disputed vote a decade ago that set off Iran’s worst political convulsions since the Islamic revolution…Mr. Ahmadinejad’s remarks are among several signals from different ends of Iran’s political spectrum that Iranian officials want to talk.”

Farnaz Fassihi, “As Conflict With U.S. Grows, Some Iran Hard-liners Suggest Talking to Trump,” The New York Times online, July 19, 2019

26,741. 7/19/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “President Donald Trump confirmed Friday [7-19-19] that Sen. Rand Paul is involved in diplomatic talks with Iran, referring to the country as ‘nothing but trouble.’ The Kentucky Republican has long been an opponent of U.S. intervention in Iran. POLITICO reported earlier this week that he had asked for Trump’s blessing to arrange a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in hopes of avoiding further conflict with the country. Trump had said he was unaware of plans to include Paul in talks with Iran. But he acknowledged the senator’s role Friday while responding to a question about the administration’s plan to calm tensions after Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz…This week, Zarif criticized U.S. foreign policies and told reporters during a visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York that the onus is on the United States to ease tensions with Iran. He said Iran would be open to more enhanced inspections of its nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the country.”

Maya King, “Trump: Sen. Rand Paul to help with Iran negotiations,” Politico, July 19, 2019 4:36 pm

26,707. 7/18/2019

IRAN/MIDDLE EAST/MILITARY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “U.S. forces downed an Iranian drone that approached a Navy warship in the Middle East on Thursday [7-18-19], stoking fears that the two countries will fall into a military confrontation even as they both seek diplomatic openings with each other. President Donald Trump said the unmanned aircraft ‘had closed into a very, very near distance, approximately 1,000 yards’ of the U.S.S. Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, in the strategically critical waterway known as the Strait of Hormuz. The incident occurred weeks after Iran brought down a U.S. drone in the region. The event underscores the complex challenges facing Trump: He’s trying to entice Iran to the negotiating table to discuss its nuclear program, while also pushing back against Tehran’s dangerous behavior in the region. Trump is seeking an agreement to curb Iran’s activities after abandoning a 2015 nuclear deal with the country that he said was too limited. So far, however, tensions have only escalated between the two countries, and no new deal is in sight.”

Nahal Toosi and Caitlin Oprysko, “Drone downing imperils Trump’s Iran outreach,” Politico, July 18, 2019 7:18 pm

26,684. 7/18/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/SENATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran’s foreign minister said on Thursday [7-18-19] that he was willing to meet with American senators to discuss possible ways out of the nuclear crisis with the Trump administration and, for the first time, floated an opening bid of modest steps that Tehran would be willing to take in return for simultaneous lifting of sanctions President Trump reimposed last year. The American-educated foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, would not say whether he was planning to meet Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who has proposed himself as a quiet emissary to Iran from the Trump administration. Mr. Zarif, meeting with a group of about 15 reporters at the Iranian mission to the United Nations, one of only three buildings where he is allowed to be while in the United States, was coy about whether he planned to meet with Mr. Paul but said, ‘I am seeing people from Congress.’”

-David E. Sanger, “Iran’s Foreign Minister Proposes Modest Deal to End Impasse With U.S.,” The New York Times online, July 18, 2019

26,683. 7/18/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The American military downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday [7-18-19] in what President Trump called an act of self-defense, just hours after Iran’s chief diplomat offered a modest road map for easing tensions with the United States. Officials said the uncrewed, relatively small drone came within 1,000 yards of the Boxer, a United States amphibious assault ship in the strait. It was not known if the drone was armed, but a Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said that it had ‘closed within a threatening range’ before being shot down over international waters. Mr. Trump described it as ‘the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran.’ Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, appeared to brush off the president’s broadside. ‘The drone issue is being investigated, but based on the latest news I have from Tehran, we have no information about losing a drone,’ he told reporters at the United Nations.”

Thomas Gibbons-Neff, David E. Sanger and Richard Pérez-Peña, “Trump Says U.S. Shot Down Iranian Drone as Both Nations Dig In,” The New York Times online, July 18, 2019

26,645. 7/17/2019

IRAN/NUCLEAR/OBAMA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Donald Trump has long trashed the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement as ‘the worst deal ever,’ a ‘disaster’ that didn’t cover nearly enough of the Islamist-led country’s nefarious behavior. In recent weeks, however, the president has indicated that the Barack Obama-era deal might not be so bad after all. Trump has repeatedly urged Iran to engage in negotiations with him, while saying that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions are his chief concern — ‘A lot of progress has been made. And they’d like to talk,’ Trump asserted Tuesday [7-16-19] at the White House. His aides and allies, meanwhile, have recently suggested that Iran and other countries should follow the guidelines of a deal they themselves have shunned as worthless. At times, analysts and former officials say, it sounds like Trump wants to strike a deal that essentially mirrors the agreement that his White House predecessor inked — even if he’d never be willing to admit it. Iranian officials seem willing to egg him on, saying they’ll talk so long as Trump lifts the sanctions he’s imposed on them and returns to the 2015 Iran deal.”

Nahal Toosi, “Trump’s better deal with Iran looks a lot like Obama’s,” Politico, July 17, 2019 5:05 am

26,458. 7/11/2019

EU/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “‘It seems that the Brits and the French and the Germans are coming around to the idea that the Iranians are up to no good!’ @BillHemmer @FoxNews”

-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 11, 2019 9:12 am

26,415. 7/10/2019

IRAN/OBAMA/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran has long been secretly ‘enriching,’ in total violation of the terrible 150 Billion Dollar deal made by John Kerry and the Obama Administration. Remember, that deal was to expire in a short number of years. Sanctions will soon be increased, substantially!” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 10, 2019 9:14 am

26,247. 7/3/2019

IRAN/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran has just issued a New Warning. Rouhani says that they will Enrich Uranium to ‘any amount we want’ if there is no new Nuclear Deal. Be careful with the threats, Iran. They can come back to bite you like nobody has been bitten before!” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 3, 2019 3:33 pm

26,239. 7/3/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran will begin as early as Sunday [7-7-19] to enrich uranium ‘in any amount that we want,’ President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday [7-3-19], declaring that Tehran would exceed the levels specified under its 2015 accord with the United States and other global powers. Mr. Rouhani’s pledge to accelerate the country’s uranium enrichment is the latest step in an escalating confrontation with the United States that is already shaking the region as Washington and Tehran face off over President Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear pact and imposition of crippling economic sanctions on Iran. Restarting the production of highly enriched uranium could constitute a first step toward the construction of a nuclear weapon. It may be a potentially fatal blow to the 2015 deal itself, which sought to provide Iran with relief from international economic sanctions in exchange for restrictions on any efforts by Tehran to develop such a weapon. And because it raises the possibility that Iran might seek a bomb — which Iran insists it does not want — the enrichment is also likely to reopen questions about whether the United States or Israel might take military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities to delay its success.”

David D. Kirkpatrick and Farnaz Fassihi, “Rouhani Says Iran Will Begin Enriching Uranium at Higher Level in Days,” The New York Times online, July 3, 2019

26,225. 7/2/2019

IRAN/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran was violating the 150 Billion Dollar (plus 1.8 Billion Dollar in CASH) Nuclear Deal with the United States, and others who paid NOTHING, long before I became President – and they have now breached their stockpile limit. Not good!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, July 2, 2019 11:06 pm

26,187. 7/2/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/IRAN/MEDIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/TRUMP PEOPLE: “As President Donald Trump wrestled on the evening of June 20 with how to respond to Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone, Jack Keane was making his second appearance of the day on the Fox News Channel. Keane, a retired four-star Army general, said that Trump, who had speculated earlier in the day that the Iranian action might have been a fluke rather than a deliberate provocation, had a point. Mistakes happen…Keane’s reference to the United States’ accidental downing of an Iranian commercial airliner in 1988 made a profound impact on the president, who was ‘spooked’ when he learned of the incident, according to two sources briefed on his reaction. The president made repeated comments about the tragedy on the evening of the 20th, leading aides to believe that Keane’s brief history lesson exacerbated Trump’s pre-existing doubts about carrying out the strike. Though it is unclear just how decisive Keane’s description of the decades-old incident was in the president’s decision to call off the airstrikes — Trump also had repeated conversations with Fox News host Tucker Carlson before he made the call — it wouldn’t be the first time the 76-year-old former Army vice chief of staff has, wittingly or not, served as a shadow foreign policy adviser to the commander in chief.”

Eliana Johnson, “The Fox News general who ‘spooked’ Trump out of attacking Iran,” Politico, July 2, 2019 5:00 am

26,177. 7/1/2019

IRAN/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran on Monday [7-1-19] violated a key provision of the 2015 international accord to restrict its nuclear program and signaled that it would soon breach another as it seeks more leverage in its escalating confrontation with the United States. International inspectors confirmed that Iran had exceeded a critical limit on how much nuclear fuel it can possess under the agreement, which President Trump abandoned more than a year ago. By itself, the move does not give Iran enough material to produce a single nuclear weapon, though it inches it in that direction. Hours later, Iran’s foreign minister said his nation now intended to begin enriching its nuclear fuel to a purer level, a provocative action that, depending on how far Tehran goes with it, could move the country closer to possessing fuel that with further processing could be used in a weapon. The moves completed a sharp shift in strategy for Iran, which for the past 14 months had continued to respect the terms of the complex deal it struck with the Obama administration, even after Mr. Trump reimposed sanctions in an effort to strangle Iran’s economy by driving its oil revenues to zero.”

David E. Sanger, “Iran Breaches Critical Limit on Nuclear Fuel Set by 2015 Deal,” The New York Times online, July 1, 2019

26,134. 6/28/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “As the US crisis with Iran continues, carrying with it the frightening prospect of a possible military confrontation with Tehran, one question looms large. If Donald Trump can summit, negotiate and send self-described love letters to Kim Jong Un, one of the world’s last true authoritarians — a man whose country (like Iran) is on America’s state sponsors of terror list; who has up to an estimated 60 nuclear weapons; who has launched missiles at Japan and threatened South Korea; and whose record on human rights and abuses against his own people justifiably puts him in the evil category — why can’t he sit down with senior Iranian officials to figure a way out of the current crisis? The quick answer of course in the context of the current crisis is that having watched the United States withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord and reimpose sanctions, the most recent of which are directed against the Supreme Leader, Tehran isn’t interested in talking, and the administration, tethered to its maximum pressure campaign, isn’t all that interested either right now, even though Trump has repeatedly offered to sit down with President Hassan Rouhani without preconditions.”

Aaron David Miller, “If Trump can negotiate with Kim Jong Un, why not Iran?,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, June 28, 2019 3:22 pm

26,121. 6/28/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/OIL/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump is pressing allies to join the United States in creating a fleet of warships to protect commercial oil tankers from attack by Iran in the Persian Gulf and nearby waters, despite alarm from some within the Pentagon that the mission could escalate into the kind of direct confrontation Mr. Trump is seeking to avoid. Mark T. Esper, the acting defense secretary, is casting the effort, called Sentinel, as something far less than a military offensive against Iran, but one that could bring European and gulf Arab allies together to safeguard one of the world’s vital trade routes…Some European allies, who have routinely been chastised by Mr. Trump for not doing enough for their collective defense, do not appear ready to join his initiative, while others appear open to discussing the proposal. And even some officials at the Pentagon and within the Navy have expressed alarm that the mission could return the United States and Iran to the deadly ‘Tanker War’ of three decades ago. While those in uniform would not discuss challenges of the proposed mission or be identified by name, their concerns were expressed by outside experts in regional military affairs.”

Helene Cooper, “Will Trump’s Plans to Counter Iran Bring a Return of the ‘Tanker War’?,” The New York Times online, June 28, 2019