Although neither a preemptive strike, nor a full-scale war against Iran has been discussed by Trump, Pence, Pompeo, Shanahan, or Bolton, and Trump’s reluctance for overseas intervention is well known, the antiwar cries go on. They are not about context nor deterring Iran. Their goal is to save the nuclear deal by manipulating Trump into firing Bolton.
It began last April, when Mohammad Javad Zarif was in New York. He granted an interview to Reuters where he said, “I don’t think [Trump] wants war,” but “that doesn’t exclude him basically being lured into one” by Bolton.
A Rouhani adviser tweeted at Trump on May 14th, “You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead. That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache (meaning John Bolton). Good luck in 2020!”
Now the regime’s talking point is everywhere. For instance, two former White House officials wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “It’s John Bolton’s world. Trump is just living in it”
Peter Bergen on CNN.com wrote, “John Bolton is Trump’s war whisperer,” on May 14.
“Trump’s potential war with Iran is all John Bolton’s doing. But it might also be his undoing,” says Trita Parsi on NBCNews.com.
Robin Wright of The New Yorker, asks, “Is Trump Yet Another U.S. President Provoking a War?”
In the New York Times, Wendy Sherman writes, “We cannot repeat the days before the Iraq war when even many of our most reliable news outlets repeated and amplified what was, in fact, a flimsy case for war.” Her thought provoking piece for one of our most reliable news outlet repeated and amplified anti-Bolton talking points.
Former Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes’s admitted to the New York Times Magazine in 2016, that, “We created an echo chamber” to attack the Iran deal’s opponents through leaks and tips to the D.C. press. “They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.” He said that these tactics worked because “the average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”
Members of the echo chamber aren’t attacking Iran, instead they slander American opponents — Bolton is just the latest target. He is a Hawkish national security adviser for President Trump.
Trump announced on April 8th, that he was designating the IRGC a terrorist organization, which heightened the threat to the country’s financial base. Pompeo announced on April 22nd, that the United States would end waivers for sanctions on Iranian oil. Iran threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz that very day. One year to the day, after the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal, Iran threatened to follow suit.
CNBC.com, reported that, “Rouhani did not signal the end of the deal entirely, but gave Europe an ultimatum: It will have 60 days to either follow the Trump administration or resume oil trade with Iran to save the agreement, violating U.S. sanctions. A failure to do the latter would prompt Tehran to return to high level uranium enrichment, the Iranian leader said.”
The Iranians are feeling the burn of the US sanctions; their economy is being crushed. If they leave the agreement with Europe, they will be back to square one. Now, Iran has assumed a threatening posture: provoking an American attack could divide the Western alliance.
America is already facing a challenging international environment, with trouble spots in Venezuela, North Korea, China, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, as well as Iran.
And meanwhile, Iran’s behavior in the Middle East continues to grow worse.