Trump Tells Aides to Tone Down Rhetoric on Iran

Tells officials that they should reiterate that US isn't aiming to go to war

While other officials have been punctuating their comments on Iran with an assurance that the US does not seek war with Iran for awhile, President Trump is pushing for his representatives to tone down their harsh rhetoric even more, and take more time to reiterate that the US doesn’t want war.

Trump has in the past several days made repeated comments talking down the idea of war, saying that Thursday’s tanker attacks were “very minor,” and giving the impression he doesn’t envision war resulting from anything short of Iran trying to get nuclear weapons.

But before Trump started making these comments, he was largely mum on the matter, leaving it to other officials, particularly Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who were emphasizing the US exploring military options, amid months of US military buildup in the area around Iran.

This all had given the impression that a war was imminent, or that the US was at least slowly building to one. Yet Trump has tried to make clear that isn’t his intention at all, and he’s keen to not just say that himself, but to get the rest of the administration on the same page, with the same message.

That’s a very unusual move for the administration, as having several high-ranking officials taking several wildly differently tones has been practically standard for Trump. The Iran issue seems to be important enough, however, that he wants a more uniform narrative.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of