Trump Hints at New Iran Sanctions, Prefers to Avoid ‘Ultimate Option’ of War

Trump Iran sanctionsPresident Donald Trump says he will announce new actions by Friday regarding Iran’s suspected role in attacking oil fields in Saudi Arabia.

“We’ll be adding some very significant sanctions onto Iran,” Trump told reporters Wednesday in San Diego. “We’ll be announcing it over the next 48 hours.”

Trump said he has “many options” and that he hopes to avoid the “ultimate option” of going to war with Iran.

“There’s the ultimate option and there are options that are a lot less than that,” he said.

Still, Trump said the crisis shouldn’t prevent Iranian President Hassan Rouhani from attending the United Nations General Assembly session when it convenes in New York next week.

“I would let them come,” Trump said. “I’ve always felt the United Nations is very important. … I don’t think it’s ever lived up to the potential it has.”

The president conducted an informal press conference on the tarmac after Air Force One landed while he was on his way to visit portions of newly constructed border wall. He stood with his new national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, named earlier in the day to replace John Bolton, ousted Sept. 10.

O’Brien has served since spring 2018 as the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs. He helped secure the release of Christian pastor Andrew Brunson from a Turkish prison. Earlier this year, O’Brien took the lead in achieving the release of American rapper A$AP Rocky from a jail in Sweden.

Trump said O’Brien has “brought a lot of people home.”

“He’s worked with me for quite a while now on hostages, and we’ve got a tremendous track record with respect to hostages,” Trump said.

O’Brien, a lawyer, told reporters he expects continued foreign policy success with the Trump administration, and praised the president’s foreign policy team.

“I look forward to working with them and working with the president to keep America safe and continue to rebuild our military,” O’Brien said.

Asked about Iran, the new national security adviser wasn’t specific, saying: “We’re looking at it those issues now.” He said he would advise the president in private.

Trump also got a question about criticism from Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., that Iran perceived the United States was weak when the administration didn’t respond to Iran’s shooting down a U.S. drone June 20.

Trump struck back.

“Ask Lindsey how did going into the Middle East, how did that work out? And how did going into Iraq work out?” Trump asked rhetorically of Graham, who often has been a strong ally.

“So, we have a disagreement on that and we have plenty of time to do some dastardly things,” the president said. “It’s very easy to start. We’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens. But we have a lot of capital. If we have to do something we’ll do it, without hesitation.”

Trump made a strong choice in tapping O’Brien as national security adviser, two experts from The Heritage Foundation said in a joint statement.

“O’Brien’s diplomatic experience and record of national service will serve him well as he steps up to lead the National Security Council [and] we are confident he will do so with resolve and determination at a time when the enemies of the free world seek to harm the United States, its allies, and global security on several fronts,” James Carafano, Heritage’s vice president for national security and foreign policy, and Nile Gardiner, director of Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom, said.

“From confronting our adversaries in Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea, to strengthening our closest partnerships with our friends in the U.K., NATO, and beyond, O’Brien will be instrumental in safeguarding and advancing U.S. interests in the months to come,” they added.

Reprinted with permission from - The Daily Signal - by Fred Lucas

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3 years ago

Aside from increased economic sanctions being imposed on Iran to further weaken their already crumbling economy, the United States SHOULD NOT be going to war with Iran because of the latest cruise missile and drone strike Iran launched against Saudi Arabia. We can supply and will supply the Saudi government with any intelligence data necessary for THEM to counter-strike against Iran. However, that should be the extent of our involvement in terms of military action. The Saudi government already has the military means to retaliate against Iran, if they so choose to. The United States SHOULD NOT be expected to be, by either Saudi Arabia or our so-called allies in Europe who do nothing but roundly criticize this nation for THEIR OWN lack of will to stand up for themselves, the sole nation on earth that risks its own resources and people to protect nations that are completely capable of defending themselves.

President Trump is smart enough to not fall for the standard trap both our allies in Europe and the Middle east routinely have laid out for this country. When a problem occurs, they all scream loudly that the United States has to step-up and unilaterally defend its allies or trading partners against whatever the threat may be. While at the same time those same so-called allies and trading partners do NOTHING to defend themselves and their own interests. There is NOTHING holding back Saudi Arabia from targeting the Iranian military locations from which those drones and cruise missiles were launched today. Same goes for our European allies, who are actually dependent on the oil from the Middle east that we are not. Yet days later, the Saudi government and those European leaders most active in criticizing the United States on a regular basis have done ABSOLUTELY NOTHING so far to retaliate. Instead they are lobbying for the United States to step-up and unilaterally deal with Iran. To that I say “Enough is enough. You all have sufficient military capability to deal with Iran. What you all lack is the political will to stand up for yourselves. Well the days of the United States just blindly sending its brave military to fight your conflicts for you, while you sit back and gripe about how bad the Americans are, is over under Trump. Put your own people and military assets on the line to defend your interests before asking us to bail you out every time.” Just a thought.

End rant.

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