Israel, Saudis Move to Preempt Trump Bid for Iran Talks

Iran's Rouhani conditions talks on sanctions relief

President Trump has raised the possibility of talking with Iran, and there continues to be a lot of speculation about the possibility, particularly after reports in the Israeli press about how seriously concerned Israel is about a Trump-Iran negotiation.

Trump has raised the possibility of such talks before, and with Iran wanting sanctions relief, while Trump insists Iran will get nothing, it’s unlikely anything will come of it. Still it has scrambled a lot of anti-diplomacy efforts.

Israel is a clear opponent of diplomacy with Iran, and would be in a rough position after praising Trump to the moon if he started such talks. They’re hardly alone, however, as the Saudi Crown Prince has dispatched his younger brother to DC this week.

Deputy DM Khalid bin Salman is being sent to the US specifically to express “common concerns” between the US and Saudis about Iran, and it seems likely that a big part will be trying to sell the US on continuing to spurn diplomacy.

At the G7, Trump likely heard broad support from other attendees for diplomacy, and while talks aren’t likely to spring out of thin air, it seems clear that these other nations are going to line up and try to sway the balance back to its traditional hostility to Iran.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.