War Averted? Trump Has Few Good Options, Announces New Iran Sanctions Instead

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Monday. — Reuters

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is seen in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Monday. — Reuters

"I'm not looking to get into new conflict, but sometimes you have to", he said. "I don't think they're ready yet but they'll be ready", Trump said.

"I never rule anything out, but I prefer not meeting him", he told reporters en route to California aboard Air Force One.

Washington DC, Sep 18: United States President Donald Trump has on Tuesday said he was not looking forward to meeting his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) conference later this month, as tensions between the nations escalated after the U.S. blamed Tehran for recent assault on Saudi Arabia oil plants.

Iran has previously said it won't talk with USA officials unless Trump relaxes sanctions he implemented, after leaving the nuclear accord.

In June, Trump announced what he called "hard hitting" sanctions on Iran, including on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. But the president, seeking a narrowly focused response that wouldn't draw the USA into broader military conflict with Iran, asked for more options, people briefed on the meeting said ...

Iran responded by scaling back its commitments under the landmark accord, which gave it the promise of sanctions relief in return for limiting the scope of its nuclear program.

The attacks were claimed by Yemenis Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies have threatened to boil over since May past year when President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 nuclear deal and began reimposing sanctions in its campaign of "maximum pressure". "But I can really step it up a lot more if we have to".

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