Tuesday 17 November 2020
The New York Times reported Monday that US President Donald Trump, whose term ends in two months, last week polled a number of his advisers and senior officials about the possibility of “taking action” within weeks against an Iranian nuclear site.
The newspaper said that during a meeting chaired by Thursday in the Oval Office, Trump asked his aides, including Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, “if he has any options to move against” this nuclear site “in the coming weeks. “.
She added that these senior officials “convinced the president not to go ahead with a military strike” against Tehran, fearing that it would lead to a large-scale conflict.
The New York newspaper confirmed that Trump raised this question to his aides the day after the International Atomic Energy Agency reported that Tehran was continuing to accumulate enriched uranium, indicating that the nuclear site that Trump wanted to strike is probably the Natanz site.
The relations severed for four decades between the United States and Iran have witnessed an increase in the level of tension since Trump assumed his presidential duties in 2017, then he withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed severe sanctions on Tehran, leading to the assassination of the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, General Qassem Soleimani, in an American air strike in Baghdad early this year.
US President-elect Joe Biden, who Trump has not yet admitted defeat in front of him, expressed his intention to “change the course” adopted by the Trump administration towards Iran, but the margin available for him to achieve a diplomatic breach with the Islamic Republic will be narrow and governed by various factors and obstacles.
The main turning point in the US relationship with Iran during the Trump era was his decision in 2018 to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement on the Iranian nuclear program that was concluded between Tehran and major powers in 2015.
The US President re-imposed harsh sanctions on Tehran as part of a policy of “maximum pressure” that he pursued towards it, which had negative repercussions on the Iranian economy and the local currency exchange rate.
Trump considered that the agreement concluded during the era of his predecessor, Barack Obama, was not enough, and he sought to pressure the Islamic Republic to reach a “better agreement” from his point of view. Iran rejected any new negotiations, stressing that it would continue to “resist” sanctions and pressure.