Categories for Iran

29,404. 10/11/2019

ARMS-WEAPONS/IRAN/MILITARY/SAUDI ARABIA/SYRIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The United States is sending about 3,000 additional troops to Saudi Arabia in the latest military response by the Trump administration after it accused Iran of attacks last month on Saudi oil facilities, the Pentagon said on Friday [10-11-19]. The move came only five days after President Trump said that his desire to terminate America’s ‘endless wars’ led to his decision to pull back from the border area between Syria and Turkey about 50 troops who were working to create a ‘safe zone’ between Turkish and Kurdish troops. State Department officials struggled on Friday to answer questions about how the roles of the incoming American forces in the Persian Gulf kingdom and those being pulled back from the Syrian border differed, and whether the deployments to Saudi Arabia contradicted the president’s strategy of withdrawing from the Middle East.”

Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger, “Trump Orders Troops and Weapons to Saudi Arabia in Message of Deterrence to Iran,” The New York Times online, October 11, 2019

28,929. 9/30/2019

FOREIGN DIGNITARIES/FRANCE/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The telephone line had been secretly set up. President Trump waited on the other end. All President Hassan Rouhani of Iran had to do was come out of his hotel suite and walk into a secure room where Mr. Trump’s voice would be piped in via speaker. Mr. Rouhani and his aides were blindsided by the offer, presented to them by President Emmanuel Macron of France on an unannounced visit last Tuesday night to their quarters at the Millenium Hilton Hotel near the United Nations, where world leaders had converged for the annual General Assembly. It was a mission lifted out of a Hollywood thriller. Mr. Macron has sought for months to broker a thaw in the standoff between the United States and Iran, which has threatened to escalate into a new Middle East war. Accompanied by a small team of advisers, Mr. Macron awaited an answer outside the Iranian leader’s suite, according to three people with knowledge of the diplomatic gambit, which was first reported on Monday by The New Yorker.”

Farnaz Fassihi and Rick Gladstone, “How Iran’s President Left Trump Hanging, and Macron in the Hall,” the New York Times online, September 30, 2019

28,792. 9/27/2019

IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran wanted me to lift the sanctions imposed on them in order to meet. I said, of course, NO!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, September 27, 2019 8:23 am

28,643. 9/24/2019

IRAN/OIL/SAUDI ARABIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/UN: “President Trump delivered a sharp nationalist message and assailed ‘globalists’ in remarks to the world’s leading international body on Tuesday [9-24-19], while stopping short of urging any specific action against Iran for a major attack on Saudi oil facilities that his administration has said was Tehran’s responsibility…The United Nations was founded in 1945 to foster international cooperation and to ‘take effective collective measures’ to keep the peace after the nationalist fervor that had plunged the globe into World War II. But Mr. Trump, who spoke in an unusually flat monotone as he read from a teleprompter, stressed the value of national identity and argued that governments must defend their “history, culture and heritage’…Just as notable as his challenge to many of the world body’s principles was what Mr. Trump did not say. Before an audience that had been primed for him to build on the American argument that Iran was behind the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, Mr. Trump said relatively little about this month’s strikes.”

Michael Crowley and David E. Sanger, “Trump Celebrates Nationalism in U.N. Speech and Plays Down Iran Crisis,” The New York Times online, September 24, 2019

28,566. 9/20/2019

IRAN/OIL/SANCTIONS/SAUDI ARABIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump on Friday [9-20-19] shared details of his administration’s newest sanctions on Iran, targeting the Islamic Republic’s national bank over Tehran’s alleged involvement in a series of drone attacks on Saudi oil facilities last weekend. Trump claimed they would be the ‘highest sanctions ever imposed on a country,’ telling reporters in the Oval Office that the penalties would go ‘right to the top’ of the Iranian government…The latest sanctions layer on top of a slew of other penalties the Trump administration has imposed and reimposed as a result of Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and other world powers. The existing sanctions have already targeted Iran’s oil exports, its metal and mining industries and its ability to receive financing from international banks. Tehran has repeatedly likened the sanctions to ‘economic warfare.’”

Caitlin Oprysko, “Trump announces ‘highest sanctions ever’ targeting Iran’s central bank,” Politico, September 20, 2019 1:28 pm

28,558. 9/20/2019

DEFENSE/IRAN/MILITARY/OIL/SAUDI ARABIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Trump is sending a modest deployment of American troops to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, along with air and missile defense systems, in response to the attacks on Saudi oil facilities, which the administration blames on Iran. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper called the decision, which came on Friday [9-20-19] during a White House meeting with top national security officials, ‘defensive in nature.’ Defense Department officials said the Pentagon would deploy additional antimissile batteries to Saudi Arabia and might also deploy additional warplanes. The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln may extend its stay in the region as well, the officials said. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the precise number of American troops headed to the region had not been determined, but that it would be a ‘moderate deployment’ in the hundreds, not thousands.”

Helene Cooper and Michael Crowley, “Trump Focuses on Defending Saudis, Not Striking Iran, for Now,” The New York Times online, September 20, 2019

28,537. 9/19/2019

IRAN/MIKE POMPEO/OIL/SAUDI ARABIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The United States said on Thursday [9-19-19] it was building a coalition to deter Iranian threats following a weekend attack on Saudi Arabian oil facilities. Iran has warned U.S. President Donald Trump against being dragged into a war in the Middle East and said it would meet any offensive action with a crushing response. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Trump, who has ordered more sanctions on Iran, wants a peaceful solution to the crisis. He was speaking after talks with Saudi and Emirati leaders over the strike that Washington and Riyadh have blamed on Tehran. Iran denies involvement in the Sept. 14 attack that initially halved Saudi oil output and which Pompeo earlier called an ‘act of war’ against the world’s largest oil exporter. Pompeo appeared to soften his tone on Thursday after talks with Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates, which is Riyadh’s main Arab ally.”

Tuqa Khalid, Aziz El Yaakoubi, “U.S. building coalition after Saudi oil attack, Iran warns against war,” Reuters, September 19, 2019 1:36 am

28,534. 9/18/2019

IRAN/NATIONAL SECURITY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “In the space of seven minutes on an airport tarmac on Wednesday [9-18-19], President Trump captured the thorny decision he faces as he once again straddles the edge of war and peace. One moment, he threatened to order ‘the ultimate option’ of a strike on Iran in retaliation for attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The next he ruminated about what a mistake it had been for the United States to get entangled in Middle East wars and welcomed Iran’s president to visit. To help sort through the alternatives, Mr. Trump on Wednesday named a hawkish new national security adviser, Robert C. O’Brien, the State Department’s chief hostage negotiator. But as Mr. Trump spoke with reporters, shouting to be heard over the roar of Air Force One engines, Mr. Trump sounded like a commander in chief searching for a way to be tough without pulling the trigger.”

Peter Baker and Eric Schmitt, “Trump Weighs Retaliation Against Iran and Names National Security Adviser,” The New York Times online, September 18, 2019

28,524. 9/18/2019

IRAN/IRAQ/MIDDLE EAST/MIKE POMPEO/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “It took less than a day after major Saudi oil facilities came under attack this weekend for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to blame Iran directly. The swiftness of the judgment raised eyebrows in Washington and around the world, triggering immediate comparisons to the run-up to the Iraq War in 2002 and 2003, when the George W. Bush administration evoked the specter of a ‘mushroom cloud’ to make the case for intervention in the Middle East. It took until Wednesday morning for Saudi Arabia to back up Pompeo’s claim, with the Saudi defense ministry explicitly pointing to Iran and ruling out Yemen as the source of the drones and cruise missiles. In a dramatic news conference in Riyadh, Saudi officials displayed wrecked pieces of several recovered weapons and said the attack had come from the north, though they hadn’t pinpointed the launch site. In the interim, skepticism of the U.S.’ credibility started to pour in.”

Eli Okun, “Ghosts of Iraq hang over Trump’s chest-thumping on Iran,” Politico, September 18, 2019 4:22 pm

28,510. 9/18/2019

IRAN/SANCTIONS/TREASURY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “I have just instructed the Secretary of the Treasury to substantially increase Sanctions on the country of Iran!”

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, September 18, 2019 7:53 am

28,480. 9/17/2019

IRAN/MIKE POMPEO/MILITARY/SAUDI ARABIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump offered a reserved rebuttal to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s assertion that the administration’s response to Iran shooting down an American drone earlier this summer was viewed as ‘weakness,’ with the President calling his response ‘a sign of strength.’ Trump’s tweet was an unusual rebuke of a strong congressional ally — though much gentler than some of his previous attacks on critics — and comes as sources tell CNN that no definitive US response to this past weekend’s attacks on Saudi oil fields is expected until Secretary of State Mike Pompeo returns from his trip to Saudi Arabia that begins Tuesday [9-17-19] night. Graham’s Twitter thread about the attacks on Saudi oil facilities began Tuesday with praise for Vice President Mike Pence after he briefed Senate Republicans. The attack, claimed by Houthi rebels in Yemen, forced state-owned Saudi Aramco to halve its production, taking more than 5% of the world’s daily crude oil consumption off the global market.”

Caroline Kelly, “Trump rebuts Graham: My response to Iran ‘was a sign of strength’,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, September 17, 2019 11:27 pm

28,475. 9/17/2019

IRAN/MIDDLE EAST/MILITARY/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “As President Donald Trump decides whether to strike Iran, the specter of his past military interventions is looming large over the choice before him now. Trump is reluctant to take military action in the Middle East because he wants to live up to his campaign vows to reduce foreign entanglements, according to multiple people who speak with him regularly. He’s also worried about the economic and political ramifications of embroiling the United States in a war with Iran, which stands accused of the recent attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. The president has hinted publicly at those concerns in recent days, saying on Monday [9-16-19] afternoon, ‘Do I want war? I don’t want war with anybody. I’m somebody that would like not to have war,’ while also warning, ‘We’re prepared more than anybody.’ At the same time, Trump has flashes of private regret about his only new military intervention in the region: airstrikes against Bashar Assad’s government in Syria.”

Daniel Lippman and Nahal Toosi, “Trump leans against striking Iran,” Politico, September 17, 2019 5:23 pm

28,437. 9/16/2019

IRAN/SAUDI ARABIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Remember when Iran shot down a drone, saying knowingly that it was in their ‘airspace’ when, in fact, it was nowhere close. They stuck strongly to that story knowing that it was a very big lie. Now they say that they had nothing to do with the attack on Saudi Arabia. We’ll see?” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, September 16, 2019 8:15 am

28,427. 9/15/2019

IRAN/MEDIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Fake News is saying that I am willing to meet with Iran, ‘No Conditions.’ That is an incorrect statement (as usual!).” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, September 15, 2019 6:02 pm

28,268. 9/10/2019

DEMS/IRAN/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Next week, Democrats in Congress will have a golden opportunity to take a strong and principled stand against President Trump’s dangerous moves to resurrect the nuclear arms race. So far, Trump has set a treacherous course for U.S. nuclear policy. He is tearing down arms control treaties that were carefully constructed over decades with bipartisan support. He is building new weapons at tremendous cost that will increase nuclear threats to the world. He has impulsively threatened nations (North Korea) with nuclear attack and has pushed others (Iran) to resume nuclear activities that they had ended. Trump has been in office for less than three years, and the world is already a more dangerous place. Far from earning our trust on nuclear policy, he has given us reason to be deeply concerned. Unfortunately, the executive branch has sweeping authority when it comes to nuclear weapons.”

William J. Perry and Tom Z. Collina, “How to Starve Trump’s Lust for Nukes,” Politico, September 10, 2019

28,051. 9/2/2019

IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Iran acknowledged for the first time on Monday [9-2-19] that an explosion had occurred at a satellite launch site in the country’s north after images of the aftermath of the blast circulated last week. An Iranian government official said the explosion was caused by a technical error during a test launch. The information came days after President Trump prompted confusion when he posted a message on Twitter referring to the explosion — accompanied by an image of the site that some suspected was once classified — noting that ‘the United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident.’ Ali Rabiei, a spokesman for the Iranian government, confirmed on Monday that an explosion had taken place at a launchpad at the Imam Khomeini Space Center, in a statement reported by the Iranian state news outlet IRNA.”

Megan Specia, “Iran Acknowledges Space Center Blast, Days After Trump Shares Revealing Image,” The New York Times online, September 2, 2019

27,942. 8/30/2019

IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The United States of America was not involved in the catastrophic accident during final launch preparations for the Safir SLV Launch at Semnan Launch Site One in Iran. I wish Iran best wishes and good luck in determining what happened at Site One. https://t.co/z0iDj2L0Y3

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, August 30, 2019 12:44 pm

27,903. 8/29/2019

IRAN/MILITARY/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “In the power circles of Tehran, where ‘Death to America’ is regularly chanted, the idea has taken hold that Iran must eventually negotiate with President Trump, according to several people with knowledge of the shift. These people said Iran’s leadership had concluded that Mr. Trump could be re-elected and that the country cannot withstand six more years of the onerous sanctions he has imposed. It is a remarkable turnabout for the political establishment in Tehran, which for the past 40 years has staked its legitimacy on defiance of the United States but has been particularly hostile toward Mr. Trump. President Hassan Rouhani of Iran teased a possible meeting with Mr. Trump earlier this week, indicating he would be willing if it would benefit Iranians…They said the strategy was following two parallel tracks: displaying a more defiant position on Iran’s military and nuclear energy policies to irritate Mr. Trump, while signaling a willingness to talk under certain conditions, appealing to what are seen as his deal-maker instincts.”

Farnaz Fassihi, “In Iran’s Hierarchy, Talks With Trump Are Now Seen as Inevitable,” The New York Times online, August 29, 2019

27,854. 8/27/2019

FRANCE/IRAN/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Hassan Rouhani of Iran said on Tuesday [8-27-19] that he would not sit down for a meeting with President Trump until Washington had lifted all of its economic sanctions against Iran. His comment came a day after President Emmanuel Macron of France said he would try to arrange a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Rouhani in the next few weeks to ease the strained relationship between the United States and Iran. That relationship has worsened since Mr. Trump abandoned the Iranian nuclear agreement last year and imposed crippling sanctions on Iran’s economy. Mr. Macron said at a news conference on Monday [8-26-19] at the conclusion of the Group of 7 meeting in France that he had spoken with his Iranian counterpart to determine whether a meeting was possible.”

Megan Specia, “Iran’s Rouhani Says No Talks With Trump Until Sanctions Are Lifted,” The New York Times online, August 27, 2019

27,734. 8/23/2019

BRITAIN/G7/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Britain is unlikely to alter its approach on Iran despite Prime Minister Boris Johnson meeting U.S. President Donald Trump, as the 2015 deal remains the best way to ensure Tehran does not get nuclear weapons, a British diplomatic source said on Friday [8-23-19]. ‘We are strong supporters of the JCPOA (Iran deal). We think that it is very important that Iran doesn’t get the nuclear weapons,’ said the diplomat speaking ahead of the G7 leaders summit in Biarritz, where Johnson and Trump will meet. ‘It is important that it continues and I don’t think you will find any change in the British government position.’ The source said it was critical that Iran fully complied with the accord, but that while Johnson would listen to the U.S.’s position, there would not be a radical change in approach.”

Reuters Staff, “Britain unlikely to change Iran stance at G7 despite Trump meeting,” Reuters, August 23, 2019 4:16 am

27,299. 8/8/2019

FRANCE/G7/IRAN/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump on Thursday [8-8-19] accused French President Emmanuel Macron of sending ‘mixed signals’ to Iran amid an apparent diplomatic breakdown between Washington and Tehran…The president’s posts follow reports that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has shared several phone conversations with Macron in recent weeks seeking to tamp down tensions with the U.S. A French diplomat on Wednesday [8-7-19] denied a report that Rouhani had declined a proposal from Macron to meet Trump at the G-7 summit in France later this month, emphasizing that Rouhani had not been invited to the forum of world leaders. The U.S. imposed sanctions last week on Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, the latest in a series of economic penalties Trump’s administration has leveled against Iran since the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 multinational nuclear deal last year. The pact’s European partners — France, Germany and the United Kingdom — have sought to salvage the agreement as Iran has steadily stepped away from its provisions.”

Quint Forgey, “Trump swats at Macron for Iran diplomacy,” Politico, August 8, 2019 2:49 pm

27,298. 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