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No 'boots on the ground' in Iran dispute, Trump says; cites 'unlimited time' for new deal

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No 'boots on the ground' in Iran dispute, Trump says; cites 'unlimited time' for new deal

By Tim Ahmann and Babak Dehghanpisheh

 

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing an executive order aimed at requiring hospitals to be more transparent about prices before charging patients for healthcare services, at the White House in Washington, U.S. June 24, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo

 

WASHINGTON/GENEVA (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that he was "not talking boots on the ground" should he take military action against Iran and that he had "unlimited time" to try to forge an agreement with Tehran.

 

Iran suggested it was just one day from breaching a limit in the 2015 nuclear deal that restricted its stockpile of uranium, a move that would pressure European countries aiming to be neutral to pick sides.

 

The fate of the multilateral nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in return for relief from economic sanctions, has been at the heart of the U.S.-Iran dispute which took on a military dimension in recent weeks.

 

Last week Iran shot down a U.S. drone it said was in its air space, which Washington denied. Trump called off retaliatory air strikes at the last minute, saying too many people would have died. Washington also accused Tehran or its proxies of attacks in May and June on six tankers in the Gulf region, which Iran denies.

 

Asked on Fox Business Network if a war was brewing, Trump replied: "I hope we don't but we're in a very strong position if something should happen."

 

"I'm not talking boots on the ground," Trump said. "I'm just saying if something would happen, it wouldn't last very long."

 

Speaking later at a gathering of religious conservatives, the U.S. president talked about whether there could be a new agreement with Iran, suggesting he could live without one.

 

"If it doesn't happen, that's fine with me," Trump said. "I have unlimited time, as far as I'm concerned."

 

Trump last year unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran struck by his predecessor President Barack Obama, arguing that it did not go far enough to restrict Iran's nuclear and missile programs and other activities in the Middle East.

 

He has since re-imposed U.S. economic sanctions on Iran, including taking the unprecedented step in May of trying to drive Iran's oil exports to zero.

 

'LITTLE GESTURES TO REDUCE TENSIONS'

 

Iran warned the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that it would no longer be burdened with preserving the pact, originally struck by Iran and Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States. European states pushed Tehran to stick with the agreement because there was no peaceful alternative.

 

"Iran alone cannot, shall not and will not take all of the burdens any more to preserve the JCPOA," Iran's U.N.

Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi told the 15-member Security Council, using the acronym for the deal's formal name, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.

 

U.S. allies warn that an increase in tensions could accidentally lead to war.

 

Iran and world powers including the United States who struck the nuclear pact needed to find a way back into talks, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday.

 

"I believe the escalation, sanctions on top of sanctions, provocations, the military build-up, is extremely dangerous because it could ignite the region, it could lead to over-reactions," he told Japanese broadcaster NHK before a G20 summit in Osaka.

 

"When confidence is lost, you need little gestures to reduce tensions."

 

'OBLITERATION'

 

Although the United States and Iran both say they do not want war, last week's aborted U.S. strikes have been followed by menacing rhetoric on both sides. On Tuesday Trump threatened the "obliteration" of parts of Iran if it struck U.S. interests. President Hassan Rouhani, who normally presents Tehran's mild-mannered face, called White House policy "mentally retarded."

 

The standoff creates a challenge for Washington which, after quitting the nuclear deal against the advice of European allies, is now seeking their support to force Iran to comply with it.

 

Over the past few weeks Iran has set a number of deadlines for European countries to protect its economy from the impact of U.S. sanctions or see Tehran reduce compliance with the deal.

 

A spokesman for Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation said that one of those deadlines would expire on Thursday, with Iran potentially exceeding a limit imposed under the deal to keep its stockpile of enriched uranium below 300 kg.

 

The IRIB news agency quoted spokesman Behrouz Kamalvindi as saying that after the deadline Iran would speed up its rate of producing the material.

 

Another threshold bars Iran from enriching uranium to a purity beyond 3.67 percent fissile material. It has set a deadline of July 7 after which it could also breach that.

 

European nations have tried to save the deal by maintaining some of its economic benefits despite U.S. sanctions. So far they have failed, with Iran largely shut from oil markets and all major European companies cancelling plans to invest.

 

Senior British, French, German and U.S. diplomats meet in Paris on Thursday, and senior officials from the six nations still in the deal gather in Vienna on Friday for talks that may explore whether the deal can be salvaged through diplomacy.

 

Iran says it would be Washington's fault if it exceeds the 300 kg stockpile threshold. The 2015 deal allows Iran to sell excess uranium abroad to keep its stockpile below the limit, but such sales have been blocked by U.S. sanctions.

 

(Reporting by Tim Ahmann in Washington and Babak Dehghanpisheh in Geneva; additional reporting by Michelle Nichols at the United Nations, Chris Gallagher in Tokyo, Marine Pennetier in Paris and Alexandra Alper in Washington; Writing by Peter Graff, Grant McCool and Arshad Mohammed; editing by Jon Boyle and Howard Goller)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-06-27

 

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Unlimited time! Because he is the worlds worst negotiator! Nth Korea, Afghanistan, China, the list just goes on.

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No 'boots on the ground' in Iran dispute, Trump says......

Translation: Our boys will wear sandals in respect for local tradition

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8 hours ago, rooster59 said:

No 'boots on the ground' in Iran dispute

May 2019:

The Trump administration is reviewing plans for a military confrontation with Iran, involving as many as 120,000 U.S. troops — a force nearly as large as the one that invaded Iraq in 2003.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/05/white-house-military-plan-iran-war-120000-troops-nuclear-agreement.html

Trump wouldn't hesitate to put U.S. soldiers to war in Iran if he thought it would help his re-election.

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1 minute ago, from the home of CC said:

and if he thought going to war would hurt his chances he would avoid it at all costs, the trouble is the world knows this...

He can still nuke Iran and don't follow up with anything. Probably not even one American would be killed with such an attack.

Trump never understood why nukes should not be used. And I guess he wouldn't call it war.

And his ignorant followers probably wouldn't care. After all, the dead people would be only Iranians and not good Americans...

I hope it won't happen but with that ignorant moron I wouldn't be surprised by anything.

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1 minute ago, OneMoreFarang said:

He can still nuke Iran and don't follow up with anything. Probably not even one American would be killed with such an attack.

Trump never understood why nukes should not be used. And I guess he wouldn't call it war.

And his ignorant followers probably wouldn't care. After all, the dead people would be only Iranians and not good Americans...

I hope it won't happen but with that ignorant moron I wouldn't be surprised by anything.

never happen, too close to his Saudi buddy...

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1 minute ago, from the home of CC said:

never happen, too close to his Saudi buddy...

Does Trump know that?

He can sit in front of his TV watching fox and "press the button". And nobody can do anything against it. Scary, very scary! 

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So Donald Trump has ruled out sending soldiers to Iran. This is great news, American soldiers on Iranian soil will be catastrophic. Most people still remember when Washington sent ground-forces to Iraq, the last thing we want is a repeat of Iraq back in 2003.

Now, Mr Trump, if you can also rule out air-strikes on Iran, no US combat jets and no missiles being fired, then all of us will regard you as a great statesman.

Yes Mr Trump, go and guarantee us that there will be no military action against Iran. And we will in turn, cheer on your campaign to be elected for another four years.   

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Same playbook....Obama was famous for no boots on the ground in Syria. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. But America falls for it time after time. 

On has the feeling that the American public are dumb as stumps....I read yesterday that over 50% would approve of a nuclear strike on North Korea. This sets a new precedent for wilful stupidity and lack of any discernible moral character.

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No boots, that is good. Now if only the USA can get ahold of some cheap missiles. I hate paying a million dollars for some missile used to blow up a $100 dollar out building. 

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His unlimited time would be more truthful if he said unlimited time to strangle Iran into submission that’s the non politically correct way to say what donalds trying to do.i as an American sit back and think here is a country abiding by an agreement forged with our allies it was a start on better relations it was hopeful it was positive and along comes Donald flushing everything for what now we are on the verge of war are you tired of winning yet?dont be a mark 

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1 hour ago, OneMoreFarang said:

Does Trump know that?

He can sit in front of his TV watching fox and "press the button". And nobody can do anything against it. Scary, very scary! 

Absolutely agree very very scary indeed

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What I don't understand is if the drone was shot down in international airspace how did Iran recover parts of it. What was the track of the drone. Was it in Iranian airspace but shot down as in was leaving. The  USS Vincennes was in Iranian territorial waters when it shot down the Iranian passenger jet. I would not just take Trump's word on anything. The US military has been known to lie even to Congress while under oath. 

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