Trump says there ‘might be an escalation’ between U.S., Iran
BRUSSELS — President Donald Trump on Thursday forecast an unspecified “escalation” between the United States and Iran following his withdrawal from a landmark deal that provided sanctions relief for Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.
Trump’s remarks came as his administration pressed European nations at a NATO summit to cut off all funding that Iran may use to foment instability in the Middle East and beyond.
Trump asserted Iran is treating the U.S. with more respect, although there’s no evidence to support that, and predicted Tehran will seek negotiations as reimposed sanctions bite.
“I would say there might be an escalation between us and the Iranians,” Trump said at a news conference in Brussels.
“They’re treating us with much more respect right now than they did in the past and I know they’re having a lot of problems and their economy is collapsing. But I will tell you this, at a certain point, they’re going to call me and they’re going to say ‘Let’s make a deal,’ and we’ll make a deal.’ But they’re feeling a lot of pain right now,” he said.
Over the opposition of European allies, the president in May pulled out from the 2015 nuclear deal involving Iran, the U.S. and other world powers. Washington’s reinstating of economic penalties has worsened Iran’s already-hobbled economy.
After the NATO summit ended Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with European officials to make the case for clamping down on Iranian “terrorism and proxy wars.”
“We must cut off all funding the regime uses to fund terrorism and proxy wars. There’s no telling when Iran may try to foment terrorism, violence & instability in one of our countries next.” The tweet was accompanied by a map accusing Iran of sponsoring at least 11 terrorist attacks in Europe since 1978.
In another post, Pompeo said “Iran continues to send weapons across the Middle East, in blatant violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Iran’s regime wants to start trouble wherever it can. It’s our responsibility to stop it.”