Trump Fought Off Advisers Who Wanted to Bomb Iran
That's very nice but maybe time to get better advisers?
Editor’s note: Initially I didn’t think much about the leak that Trump turned down the option to strike Iran over the rocket attack that killed two US soldiers in Iraq, but with Gareth Porter’s reporting that Pompeo, Netanyahu and Bolton (while he was still around) had been jointly plotting to corner Trump into such strikes since at least early 2019 that becomes a lot more notable.
With US officials blaming recent rocket fire in Iraq on “Iranian proxies,” the national security advisers were pushing hard again to attack Iran. President Trump rejected the proposals, according to officials familiar with the situation.
Trump told officials that he didn’t want to attack Iran in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, believing it would make the US look bad. Iran is one of three nations hardest hit by the virus.
Iran’s struggle with coronavirus is at least in part because US-imposed sanctions are making it hard for them to import medicine and equipment. Having the US attacking them outright over unproven allegations of rocket attacks likely would’ve made them look worse.
While some were presenting this as a “shift” for Trump, in practice he has repeatedly resisted calls for reckless escalation against Iran, objecting to actions that would kill too many people. While he’s wanted sanctions and general hostility, Trump has stopped short of starting any huge wars with Iran.