Tag: Bolton, John R

Iran Stiffens Its Resolve as the Trump Administration’s Pressure Mounts

BEIRUT, Lebanon — In its campaign to throttle Iran into submission, the Trump administration has in the last several weeks applied smothering force — blocking the country’s last avenues for selling oil, classifying the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist organization and deploying ships and bombers to the Persian Gulf. But if the […]

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Op-Ed Columnist: Will Trump Be the Sage One?

WASHINGTON — Only one person can save us from the dangerous belligerent in the White House. And that person is Donald Trump. How screwed up is that? Will the president let himself be pushed into a parlous war by John Bolton, who once buoyed the phony case on W.M.D.s in Iraq? Or will Trump drag […]

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Don’t Fight Iran

Sometimes it’s important to write a column about something you’re pretty sure isn’t going to happen. In this case, that thing is war with Iran, which Donald Trump clearly doesn’t want, and which he will therefore probably avoid. But since the president’s current foreign policy is making war more likely, it’s still worth saying clearly […]

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War With Iran? Count Us Out, Europe Says

BRUSSELS — With strong memories of the last catastrophic war in Iraq, Europeans are united in opposing what many consider the United States’ effort to provoke Iran into a shooting war. Yet, despite the strains in trans-Atlantic relations in the Trump years, flat-out opposition to Washington remains an uncomfortable place for European nations. Initially, not […]

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The Tension Between America and Iran, Explained

American officials have suddenly raised the stakes in the long-simmering tensions between the United States and Iran, pointing to new intelligence that they say suggests an imminent threat to American interests in the Middle East. The potential for armed conflict between the two countries has loomed since the Islamic Revolution and takeover of the American […]

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Trump Tells Pentagon Chief He Does Not Want War With Iran

WASHINGTON — President Trump has told his acting defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan, that he does not want to go to war with Iran, according to several administration officials, in a message to his hawkish aides that an intensifying American pressure campaign against the clerical-led government in Tehran must not escalate into open conflict. Mr. Trump’s […]

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Iran Crisis or ‘Circus’? A Weary Middle East Wonders

CAIRO — The drums of war are sounding across the Middle East, driven by the Trump administration as well as by disputed attacks on Saudi Arabian tankers and an oil pipeline. But Rohile Gharaibeh, a prominent Jordanian politician and newspaper columnist, has watched it all with a mixture of disdain and weary exasperation. “A circus,” […]

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Iran Threat Debate Is Set Off by Images of Missiles at Sea

WASHINGTON — The intelligence that caused the White House to escalate its warnings about a threat from Iran came from photographs of missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf that were put on board by Iranian paramilitary forces, three American officials said. Overhead imagery showed fully assembled missiles, stoking fears that the Islamic Revolutionary […]

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Images of Missiles at Sea Set Off Debate Over Iran Threat

WASHINGTON — The intelligence that caused the White House to escalate its warnings about a threat from Iran came from photographs of missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf that were put on board by Iranian paramilitary forces, three American officials said. Overhead imagery showed fully assembled missiles, stoking fears that the Islamic Revolutionary […]

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Despite Troubling Echoes of 2003, Iraqis Think U.S.-Iran War Is Unlikely

BAGHDAD — On the streets of Baghdad and in its halls of power, people know what the run-up to a war looks and sounds like, and this, they say, isn’t it. In the Trump administration’s talk about Iran, they hear the eerie echoes of 2002 and 2003, just before the American invasion of Iraq: the […]

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How to Stop the March to War With Iran

Either the Trump administration is trying to goad Iran into war or a war could come by accident because of the administration’s reckless policies, but the prospect of the current tensions in the Middle East escalating into a serious conflict are now dangerously high. This week, four commercial tankers were reportedly sabotaged off the coast […]

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U.S. Orders Partial Evacuation of Embassy in Baghdad

WASHINGTON — The State Department ordered a partial evacuation of the United States Embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday, responding to what the Trump administration said was a threat linked to Iran, one that has led to an accelerated movement of American ships and bombers into the Persian Gulf. The department ordered “nonemergency U.S. government employees,” […]

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Skeptical U.S. Allies Resist Trump’s New Claims of Threats From Iran

WASHINGTON — As the Trump administration draws up war plans against Iran over what it says are threats to American troops and interests, a senior British military official told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that he saw no increased risk from Iran or allied militias in Iraq or Syria. A few hours later, the […]

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White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War

WASHINGTON — At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said. The revisions were ordered by […]

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News Analysis: Trump Said He Would Tame Rogue Nations. Now They Are Challenging Him.

WASHINGTON — Three nations that have long defined themselves as bitter adversaries of the United States — North Korea, Iran and Venezuela — decided this week they could take on President Trump. Each one is betting that Mr. Trump is neither as savvy a negotiator nor as ready to use military force as he claims. […]

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Pentagon Builds Deterrent Force Against Possible Iranian Attack

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon will deploy a Patriot antimissile battery to the Middle East to shore up defenses against Iranian threats, part of a series of carefully calibrated deployments intended to deter attacks by Iranian forces or their proxies, Pentagon officials said on Friday. A single Patriot antimissile battery will return to the Persian Gulf, […]

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News Analysis: With Mix of Threats and Blandishments, Trump Bandies Policy of Regime Change

WASHINGTON — Shortly before he was sworn in as president, Donald J. Trump vowed that the United States would stop “racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn’t be involved with.” He promised to end “this destructive cycle of intervention and chaos.” Two and a half years into his presidency, […]

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U.S. Officials Raise Alarm of Iranian Threat Targeting American Troops in Iraq

WASHINGTON — Senior American officials said on Monday that new threats by Iran against United States troops in Iraq were behind the sudden deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Persian Gulf. The White House and Pentagon made the decision after seeing intelligence that showed new activity on the […]

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Citing Iranian Threat, U.S. Sends Carrier Group and Bombers to Persian Gulf

WASHINGTON — The White House announced on Sunday that the United States was sending an aircraft carrier strike group and Air Force bombers to the Middle East because of “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” related to Iran. The deployment was intended “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any […]

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Kim Jong-un Shot a Rocket? He Wants to Talk

The North Korean government wants to talk. On Saturday morning, displaying its signature defiance and smokescreen strategy, it fired off its eastern coast what the South Korean military called short-range “projectiles.” The drill was its first rocket launch to be detected since November 2017, when it fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.) capable of striking […]

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