An adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is accusing U.S. President Donald Trump of moving toward war with Iran after reports broke late Monday that the administration is considering sending 120,000 troops to the Middle East.
“You wanted a better deal with Iran. Looks like you are going to get a war instead.”
The Trump administration sent the USS Abraham Lincoln and a squadron of bombers to the region in response to unspecified threats by Iran against U.S. interests, but Trump denies the New York Times report about sending troops there.
Ashena also said Trump is being misled by National Security Adviser John Bolton, who has a reputation for being a bit of a war hawk.
“That’s what happens when you listen to the mustache,” he said, referring to Bolton’s bushy mustache. “Good luck in 2020!”
Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei says his country won’t negotiate with the United States and there will be no war between the two countries.
Iran’s state TV quoted Khamenei on Tuesday as calling negotiations with the U.S. “poison” and saying: “This is not a military confrontation, because no war is going to happen.”
Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, said: “Neither we, nor they are seeking war, they know that it is not to their benefit.”
Trump says the reports on the troop buildup are “fake news.”
He says he would “absolutely” be willing to send troops, but that he’s not planned for that and hopefully won’t have to plan for that.
“I think it’s fake news,” Trump told reporters at the White House as he departed for a trip to Louisiana. “Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.