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Articles - Addostour - Date: 2019-05-29
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

As tensions and the state of alert between Iran and the U.S. hit peak levels, the U.S. president's remarks during his Japan visit arrive to shift the crisis onto yet another track.
 
The man says he does not want a war with Iran and is willing to hold discussions with it should it express a similar willingness. He expects a prosperous future for Iran, and most importantly, 'with the same leadership.' All he is looking for is to keep nuclear weapons away from Tehran, nothing more.
 
Trump did not stop at declaring his intentions, which contradict his previous statements that not only contained threats to overthrow the Iranian regime, but to cause 'the official end of Iran' as well. He went as far as to welcome help from [Japanese PM] Shinzo Abe in brokering a resolution to the dispute between the two bitter rivals by leveraging his good relations. All this occurred in full view of his National Security Adviser, John Bolton, who always hovers in the background in photos taken of Trump's trip, amid a climate of astonishment and suspense brewing over the 'hotheads' yearning for war in the region's [Arab Gulf] capitals.
 
Are we dealing with another one of the ever-changeable president's 'episodes', where he says one thing in the morning and its opposite in the evening? Or has Trump decided to hedge against the influence of the Zionist sleeper cells within his administration that are loudly beating the drums of war against Iran – one that no presidential candidate would want on the threshold of running for a second term? 
 
Is Trump operating under a new conviction that the administration's campaign to exert extreme pressure on Iran has failed to bend it to his will and bring it to the negotiating table on its knees, especially since Washington finds itself isolated save for a few voices sounding the clarion call for war exclusively from Tel Aviv and a handful of regional capitals? 
 
Has Trump relinquished [U.S. Secretary of State] Pompeo's thirteen preconditions for dialogue, negotiation, and accord with Iran, leaving only the one condition regarding the nuclear program, while discarding the rest? How were his statements received in the region's capitals that act as if they can float in shallow waters, believing that missiles would rain down on Iran tomorrow?
 
Since the Islamic revolution's victory in Iran forty years ago, no other U.S. president has harbored as much hostility and hatred towards it as Donald Trump. All have incited against the Iranian regime, while taking care to differentiate between the people and their rulers, but not one of them has talked of overthrowing the regime or changing it, never mind anything akin to Trump's infamous 'official end of Iran' line.
 
However, by way of contrast, no president before Trump – including Barack Obama, whom the former has long accused of favoring the Iranians and displaying weakness before them – has heralded a prosperous future for Iran under 'the same leadership.' No president, that is, other than Trump, and Trump alone – the same Trump who goes to extremes in his hostile displays before jumping to extremes in his 'generosity', making offers of friendships and wagers, and raising the ceiling of expectations, always according to his 'gut' and 'common sense', as he himself has Tweeted. After all, did he not threaten North Korea with his 'big nuclear button' before turning around and striking up a friendship, unshaken by its missile tests, with 'Little Rocket Man' Kim Jong-un, as he described its president?
 
We do not know if Trump will stick to his latest position as put forward in Tokyo. Nevertheless, the jump in the U.S. position has itself created a break in the high tensions and dispelled some signs of animosity. In the eye of the beholder, this can be considered a step back from the edge of the abyss. 
 
Given the rush to mediation and the throngs of mediators, we may yet see the two sides reconvene at the negotiating table, even if this may take a while.