WaPo’s David Ignatius: Trump Is Imagining Ayatollah Khamenei Will Rescue Him On Iran
President Donald Trump’s approach to Iran is failing, as least according to Washington Post journalist David Ignatius. Appearing on MNSBC’s Morning Joe, Ignatius explained that Trump is reluctant to take military action and is hoping things will work out. Ignatius even went so far as to suggest that Trump was relying on the intervention of Iran’s supreme leader to resolve the crisis.
“My sources tell me that about two weeks ago the Iranians clearly made a decision that they couldn’t just wait this president out,” Ignatius told Joe Scarborough.
“Their thought had been, let’s wait until November 2020, January 2021 and then we’ll get a new president and these sanctions will go away. I think they’ve realized that the waiting game doesn’t work. I think we’re seeing an effort by Iran to counter disrupt in small, deniable ways. Meanwhile the US is moving in enormous amounts of military force.”
“Final thing I’d say, Joe, is this President, who, in a sense is allergic to Middle East wars, we know that about him, is looking at this gathering storm and saying, hey wait a minute, this is not where I want to be. With Donald Trump, you were never sure. What was all this pressure against Iran leading to? Is it leading to a war? I think Trump still imagines that the Iranians will capitulate, we’ll come to the table, we’ll make the super deal Barack Obama could never make. There’s one problem with that. They’re not ready. They’re in no mood to bargain with the United States.”
“I remember you being on the show and accurately pointing out the first year that Donald Trump had made the Chinese and the Iranians and many people who considered themselves our adversaries, had made them off balance,” Scarborough said. “But now now they’ve figured him out and the Iranians have figured out that Donald Trump is all this is all bluff. This is all a bluffing game. He’s not going to go to war in the Middle East. It seems to me this proves your point ,they know he’s just bluffing and is not going — he’ll send military presence over there but he’s not going to attack Iran and they know it.”
“I think you’re right, Joe, the world has figured out this kind of model that Trump uses, fire and fury, apply sanctions, this and that but in the end, what he wants to do is make a deal,” Ignatius said.
“The problem is that at certain points Trump or anybody else, if he’s ignored, doubles down. He’s done that in these China trade talks. He keeps thinking China is going to capitulate and it doesn’t and we get deeper into a trade war and our financial markets rightly say what the Hell is going on here? And I worry that the situation in Iran is going well beyond what Trump imagined. He said as recently as yesterday they’ll want to talk to me, they’ll want to come back to the table, sort of imagining that he’ll be rescued by Ayatollah Khamenei. That is not a good bet for an American president.”
Watch the video above, via MSNBC.