In Trump’s Iran Response, Some See a Dangerous Ambiguity – The New York Times

It “creates a credibility to the threat,” argued Giora Eiland, retired major general in the Israel Defense Forces and a former head of Israel’s National Security Council.

Now, Mr. Eiland said, the Iranians “are very frightened today from the American retaliation.”

He argued that Iran’s leaders now understood that if they attack again — especially so directly, and against American targets or even Arab allies of the United States — “there will be a very, very massive American retaliation, and they don’t want to be in this scene.”

Analysts close to the rulers of Saudi Arabia praised Mr. Trump, too. “The fact that a military strike did not happen right away, or that the president is not trigger-happy, should not be viewed as a sign of weakness,” said Mohammed Alyahya, the English language editor for the Saudi Arabia’s Al Arabiya news network.

“What the administration should be pressing for is for its maximum pressure campaign to run its course — that is the worst-case scenario for the Iranian regime.”

Still, there were few indications that Tehran would change its course any time soon, said Sanam Vakil, a scholar at Chatham House, a London-based research organization.

Mr. Trump has said he would require Iran to agree to talks over at least new limits on its nuclear program before lifting any sanctions. Iran’s leaders have said the United States must rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement, and that they will refuse to talk under coercion or before some sanctions relief.

“They are in a complete stalemate,” Ms. Vakil said.


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