US President Donald Trump said he would only care if Tehran obtains “nuclear weapons” or “kills protesters,” admitting that his maximum pressure campaign is not about bringing Iran to the negotiations table.
“Actually, I couldn’t care less if they negotiate. Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and ‘don’t kill your protesters’,” Trump said in a tweet Sunday night, contradicting the narrative of his National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien.
National Security Adviser suggested today that sanctions & protests have Iran “choked off”, will force them to negotiate. Actually, I couldn’t care less if they negotiate. Will be totally up to them but, no nuclear weapons and “don’t kill your protesters.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2020
O’Brien told Fox News earlier that he believes the “maximum pressure” sanctions campaign, which cripples Iran’s economy, coupled with anti-government protests in the streets, are working flawlessly, and Tehran is now being forced into a corner.
Iran is being choked off, and Iran is going to have no other choice but to come to the table.
President Donald Trump spent the last couple of days tweeting compliments to the protesters and warnings to Tehran, both in English and in Farsi. On Sunday he demanded that Tehran “stop the killing of your great Iranian people.” There are no confirmed reports of deaths during the latest protests, even though law enforcement had to deploy tear gas and water cannons against an agitated crowd on several occasions.
Meanwhile, the UK envoy’s detention during an anti-government rally in Tehran sparked a diplomatic scandal. Rob Macaire was arrested outside of Amirkabir University in Tehran, as part of a group of people attending a chaotic vigil – held for the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crash – which turned into an anti-government rally. According to Iranian state media, the official was seeking “to organize, instigate and direct some radical and destructive actions.” The envoy, summoned on Sunday by the Iranian Foreign Ministry, says he was at a “peaceful vigil” for victims of the Ukrainian plane crash.
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