President Donald Trump made an appearance in a Sunday night interview on Fox News where he stated that he would not want to go to war with Iran; however, he stressed that he will not allow the Middle Eastern country to develop nuclear weapons.
“I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons,” Trump told Fox News host Steve Hilton, The Hill reported. “I don’t want to fight. But you do have situations like Iran, you can’t let them have nuclear weapons — you just can’t let that happen.”
Trump has reportedly grown frustrated with the hardline approach toward Tehran taken by national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and wishes to negotiate directly with Iranian leaders, but escalated his own rhetoric earlier Sunday afternoon, warning that a military engagement would mean “the official end of Iran.”
Tensions have risen between the two countries in recent weeks, with Bolton announcing a carrier group would be deployed to the Persian Gulf in response to unspecified acts of aggression by Iran, while Iran announced it will scale back some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal on the anniversary of Trump’s announcement the U.S. would withdraw from the deal entirely.
“I ended the Iran nuclear deal, and actually, I must tell you — I had no idea it was going to be as strong as it was. It totally — the country is devastated from the standpoint of the economy,” Trump said Sunday.