With the G7 talks in full swing, Iran is at the top of the agenda for many of the individual meetings between world leaders – especially those meeting US President Donald Trump. French President Emmanuel Macron was appointed as the group’s ‘ambassador’ to Iran earlier today following a series of meetings between officials in Paris and Tehran. It has sparked hopes that a peace deal can be struck to end months of tension between Iran and the US – but an expert has claimed that Trump may be forced into conflict.
Dr Alan Mendoza, a strategy expert and founder of the Henry Jackson Society, told Express.co.uk that while Trump is still seeking to fulfil his isolationist promise, hawkish officials in the White House are circling.
He said: “All it comes down to is what the President wants, at the end of it.
“He has been honest so far about what he does want.
“Simply, he wants a better deal from Iran, a better nuclear deal.
“He will pursue that without considering any military options because he doesn’t want to provoke a conflict.”
During the 2016 Presidential Election campaign, Trump attacked opponent Hillary Clinton for bringing “death, destruction and weakness” to the Middle East, citing her role in the interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Since, however, a refusal to stop supporting Saudi Arabia in their brutal campaign in Yemen and warring rhetoric with Iran itself has cast doubt over his sincerity.
Dr Mendoza, however, acknowledged the influence of the likes of John Bolton and Sean Hannity – two figures who have repeatedly called for war with Iran.
The expert suggested it may come down to a battle of wills between the hawks advising the President and Trump’s commitment to his 2016 anti-interventionist rhetoric.
He added: “Trump wants Iran to come to its senses and agree to permanently cease its nuclear programme.
“He’s not going to go to war with Iran unless the Iranians are attempting a nuclear breakout.
“But there might be a danger of conflagration if Iran oversteps its limits.”
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Iran and the US have been locked in a ‘Cold War’ in the Middle East, according to analysis from Express.co.uk.
Both sides have used their allies as proxies in a wider conflict to take shots at the other.
Dr Mendoza warned that should one of Iran’s allies, such as Hezbollah or the Houthi rebels, overstep the mark with a devastating attack on a US ally in the region, the President could have no choice.
He would be under pressure from hawks in the White House and the Pentagon to take action.
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He added: “The pressure on the President to act could be quite significant.
“I doubt he could hold it back.
“Certainly, were there to be any harm done to US forces or assets in the region, there would be nothing stopping in his response.
“He may even be the vanguard of that movement.”
In 2011, Trump suggested that Obama would attack Iran in a desperate attempt to win reelection the following year.
He said: “In order to get elected, Barack Obama will start a war with Iran.”
A month earlier, he claimed: “Now that Obama’s poll numbers are in tailspin – watch for him to launch a strike in Libya or Iran. He is desperate.
“Don’t let Obama play the Iran card in order to start a war in order to get elected – be careful Republicans!”
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