Only a few short months after he unilaterally pulled the United States out of the disastrous nuclear deal signed by his predecessor and only a week after he sent Iran an unprecedented warning on Twitter, President Trump said Monday that he was open to sitting down with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani for a round of negotiations.
“I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re ready yet.”
Asked if there would need to be concessions on the table for the meeting to go forward, Trump emphasized that he would set “no preconditions” for the conference. “If they want to meet,” he said, “I’ll meet anytime they want.”
Trump has sent the world reeling with his one-on-one meetings with some of the world’s shadiest leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. He has proven to be unlike any previous president in his willingness to sit down with our enemies, hash out differences, and find common ground. With the fierce determination that comes from his career in international real estate, Trump believes that there is no deal he cannot make.
But that doesn’t mean he takes U.S. national security any less seriously, as proven by his warning to Iran last week. After Rouhani suggested that the U.S. could trigger the “mother of all wars” with an embargo on Iranian trade, Trump sent the tweet heard ‘round the world:
“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
Think they got the message in Tehran?
While there have been reports that the U.S. has laid out plans to strike Iran with strategic bombs aimed at disrupting their nuclear/ballistic missile program, we don’t get the feeling that President Trump wants to start another war in the Middle East. He has been strongly critical of the Iraq War and he was irritated last year when his generals could not give him a way to extract the U.S. from Afghanistan. It would be counter to everything we know about Trump to suppose that he wants to go into Iran with guns blazing if he doesn’t have to.
No, he wants to make a deal, and he wants it to be far better and far stronger than the one Obama signed in 2014. If Iran can give him that, Trump won’t hesitate for a second to reciprocate.