US President Donald Trump claimed that Iran has completely changed its behavior as a result of his sanctions and ditching the nuclear deal. Tehran now respects the US and suffers from bread shortages, Trump said.
Answering questions from reporters on his way out of the White House on Tuesday, Trump spoke about the trade war with China and the spat over Mexico about immigration, before touching on the tensions between the US and Iran.
“Iran is a country that now, because of the all of sanctions and other things, is a much different country than it was when I came here,” Trump said. “When I came here they were all over the place, causing terror, causing problems.”
According to Trump, this is because “they respect the United States right now much more than they ever have.”
Offering no proof for these statements, Trump took all the credit for the alleged state of affairs, arguing that Tehran’s change of heart came as a result of US quitting the 2015 nuclear deal and reimposing crippling sanctions on the Iranian economy.
“They have tremendous inflation, their money is worthless, you can’t buy a loaf of bread,” he said, before adding that he cares deeply about the Iranian people. “I’d like to help them with those problems,” he said.
The Trump administration has indeed pivoted to a policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran over the past year. As bad as the sanctions have been, however, they have yet to cause hyperinflation in Iran. Though food shortages have been reported, they are not nearly as severe as Trump makes out.
Tensions between Washington and Tehran have steadily risen since Trump’s unilateral withdraw from the Obama-era nuclear deal, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), last May.
Most recently, the Trump administration sent US warships to the Persian Gulf and continued to pile on even more sanctions. Meanwhile, Trump’s National Security Advisor John Bolton has openly issued threats of launching a military intervention against Iran, while the president’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani has given speeches to Iranian exiles in Europe, promising them regime change.
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