Trump: I Don’t Need Exit Strategy for Iran

Trump: I Don’t Need Exit Strategy for Iran

President Donald Trump says Iran still takes his threats seriously even after he decided against approving strikes in retaliation for Tehran’s downing of a more than $100 million American surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz.

Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that when the Iranians are ready to talk, they will contact him.

Iran, however, warned earlier Tuesday that new U.S. sanctions targeting its supreme leader and other top officials meant “closing the doors of diplomacy” between Tehran and Washington amid the heightened tensions.

Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that an Iranian attack on any U.S. interest will be met with “great and overwhelming force … overwhelming will mean obliteration.”

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has spoken by phone with his Iranian counterpart in what his office says is an effort to avoid a “dangerous escalation” of tensions in the Persian Gulf.

The French leader spoke on Tuesday with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, but his office didn’t provide details of the conversation.

Macron will be joining other world leaders at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, which starts Friday. High on the list will be discussing Iran’s unraveling nuclear deal and the buildup of U.S. forces in the region.

Macron said on Monday that he’ll meet with President Donald Trump at the summit.

France has said U.S. calls for building a coalition to counter Iran are “disturbing,” as European powers are trying to save the deal.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is hopeful that a peace agreement to bring an end to 17 years of war in Afghanistan can be reached before Sept. 1.

Pompeo was in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Tuesday to meet the country’s leaders. The war there is America’s longest running.

“I hope we have a peace deal before Sept. 1 that’s certainly our mission set,” Pompeo told reporters in Kabul on Tuesday before leaving for Delhi.

Pompeo is on a tour of the Middle East and Asia in an effort to build a broad, global coalition to pressure Iran that includes Asian and European countries.

Pompeo’s visit to Afghanistan comes just days before the next round of U.S. talks with the Taliban in Doha, where they maintain a political office.

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