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"I Have Doves And I Have Hawks:" The Trump Administration's Next Move On Iran

U.S. President Donald Trump walks off Marine One at the White House after spending the weekend at Camp David.
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump walks off Marine One at the White House after spending the weekend at Camp David.

President Donald Trump commented on the possibility of war with Iran in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd broadcast on Sunday.

Although he said he didn’t want a military conflict, he said if it did happen, “it’ll be obliteration like you’ve never seen before.”

In the same interview, he said it was “good” if the Iranian government wanted to talk about its development of nuclear weapons, a sentiment that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed.

President Trump also announced that the U.S. will impose new economic sanctions on Monday, after months of escalating tensions between the two countries.

Reuters reported that “a senior Iranian military commander warned any conflict in the Gulf region could spread uncontrollably and threaten the lives of U.S. troops.”

But Foreign Minister Javad Zarif told state news agency Irna: “There will not be a war since neither we want a war nor does anyone have the illusion they can confront Iran in the region.”

And although President Trump pulled the U.S out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (otherwise known as the Iran Nuclear Deal), he tweeted over the weekend that he looks “forward to the day that…Sanctions come off Iran and they become a productive and prosperous nation again – The sooner the better!”

What could come of potential talks between the Trump administration and the Iranian government? Who are the major players affecting the president’s decision-making on Iran?


Greg Myre, National security correspondent, NPR; co-author of “This Burning Land: Lessons from the Front Lines of the Transformed Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”

Lawrence Korb, Senior fellow, Center for American Progress; former assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan Administration; @LarryKorb

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