President Trump, “Iran Nuclear Deal Possible, Sanctions Biting”

Monday, President Trump said a deal with Iran on its nuclear program is possible, crediting biting economic sanctions for curbing activities Washington says are behind some attacks in the Middle East.

“I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that’s very smart of them, and I think that’s a possibility to happen,” President Trump said during a news conference with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.

“It has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership,” President Trump said. “We are not looking for regime change — I just want to make that clear. We are looking for No nuclear weapons.”

Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States after this month’s attack on oil tankers in the Gulf region.

Washington, a firm backer of Tehran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, has blamed the attacks on Iran, which denies the accusations.

The United States has deployed a carrier strike group and bombers to the Mideast region and an extra 1,500 troops to the Gulf, prompting fears of a conflict.

President Trump’s comments came after his NAS, John Bolton said Saturday that the United States had “deep and serious” intelligence on threats posed by Iran, without providing details.

Mr. Bolton described recent bomb attacks on tankers off the UAE and a pipeline pumping station in Saudi Arabia, as well as a rocket attack in Baghdad’s Green Zone as “manifestations of concern” about Iran.

Iran has distanced itself from the bombings and Sunday, its foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said his country will defend itself against any military or economic aggression.

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