Trump Says He's Not Looking to Topple Iranian Leadership..........

.... U.S. President Donald Trump said he isn’t pursuing regime change in Iran but aims to keep it from developing nuclear weapons, in an apparent effort to tamp down tensions that have led to fears of war.

Iran “has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership,’’ Trump said at a joint press conference in Tokyo on Monday alongside Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We are not looking for regime change. I just want to make that clear.’’
Iranian officials have said that the raft of U.S. sanctions against their country, which was tightened last month, is aimed at fueling popular dissent in an effort to topple the leadership.
“I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all. I’m looking to have Iran say no nuclear weapons,” Trump said. “No nuclear weapons for Iran and I think we will make a deal.’’
Trump’s remarks come amid fears that rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran could lead to miscalculations that would precipitate an armed conflict engulfing the Middle East. Frictions escalated this month after the U.S. said Tehran was planning an offensive against American interests in the region, then made a show of military force in the Gulf.
Iran has responded to the American moves by threatening to abandon aspects of the 2015 multipower nuclear deal that remains in force despite Trump’s withdrawal a year ago.
“The crux of the message by President Trump is that he doesn’t really want war with Iran, what he is trying to do is de-escalate the calls for war, ” said Fawaz A. Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern politics at the London School of Economics. His message “to the Islamic Republic is that his latest moves are all about deterrence and not war.’’
The Trump administration has made confronting Iran the cornerstone of its Middle East policy, and last year it exited the 2015 international accord that reined in Iran’s nuclear ambitions in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump has said he wants Iran back to the negotiating table for a grand deal that would curb its regional influence and ballistic missile program. His rhetoric this month has ranged from offers for Iran to "call me" to threats to "end" the nation if it seeks to picks a fight.
Trump’s conciliatory comments about the Iranian regime probably won’t comfort Gulf allies that view Iran’s leadership with deep suspicion over its regional activities, said Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political analyst in the United Arab Emirates. These include Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E.

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