Citing an unnamed source within the Trump administration, the Asia Times revealed in an article by renowned journalist Pepe Escobar on Wednesday that Trump had been trapped in a warmongering game set up by his national security adviser, John Bolton, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“He really wants a face-saving way to get out of the problem his advisers Bolton and Pompeo got him into. Washington now needs a face-saving way out. Iran is not asking for meetings. The US is,” the sources said.
The Washington Post reported in mid-May that Trump was angry with Bolton and Pompeo for constantly threatening Iran with war and preferred a diplomatic solution instead, Presstv Reported.
A senior administration official told the Post that Trump grew angry about what he sees as warlike planning that is getting ahead of his own thinking.
Trump “wants to talk to the Iranians; he wants a deal” and is open to negotiation with the Iranian government, the official told the Post.
“He is not comfortable with all this ‘regime change’ talk,” said the official, who also spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.
Bolton has been an avid advocate of “regime change” in Iran and had even promised a 2017 gathering of the anti-Iran MEK terrorists in the French capital of Paris that he looked forward to hold the next conference in Tehran in a year’s time.
Pompeo, a former CIA director, believes that gunboat diplomacy and strong-arm tactics would work towards Iran.
During his recent trip to Japan last week, Trump said he was open to talks with Iran and hoped that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe could act as a mediator and convince Iranian officials to sit down for talks during his upcoming trip to Tehran.
Iran, however, while welcoming Abe’s visit, has made it clear that direct negotiations with US are out of questions unless Washington approaches the country with respect.
Washington’s about-face started last week, when Pompeo said his side was willing to speak with Iran "with no preconditions.”
"We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We are ready to sit down with them," Pompeo told a joint news conference with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis during a stop in Switzerland.
Iran, however, dismissed the offer as wordplay, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi saying: "The Islamic Republic of Iran does not pay attention to wordplay and expression of hidden agenda in new forms."
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the offer was testament to Iran's power.
"The enemies sometimes say they have conditions for negotiations with Iran ... but in recent weeks they said they have no conditions. They threatened us as if they were a military superpower, but now they say they do not seek a war," he asserted.
Abe hopes to hold talks with Rouhani as well as Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
Speaking at a news conference with Trump in Tokyo last week, Abe expressed his keenness “to help ease the current tension surrounding the Iranian situation” through “closely cooperating between Japan and the US.”