Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

US: Iran not Going to be Happy without Behavioral Change

US: Iran not Going to be Happy without Behavioral Change

Friday, 17 May, 2019 - 07:15
US President Donald Trump awaits the arrival of Swiss Federal President Ueli Maurer at the White House in Washington, US, May 16, 2019. REUTERS
Washington - Heba El Koudsy

The United States reiterated on Thursday that it would like to see "behavioral change" come from Iran or else it will not be happy from Washington’s response.

“As the President has said. If they take action they’re not gonna like what he does in response. They’re not gonna be happy,” Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters outside the White House.

Her remarks came as President Donald Trump hosted his Swiss counterpart, Ueli Maurer, for his country’s possible role in pressuring Iran into the negotiating table with Washington.

Trump told reporters on Thursday that he hoped the US was not heading to war with Iran as he met with Maurer, whose nation has served as a liaison conduit between the two countries since they do not have diplomatic relations.

"Hope not," Trump said when asked by reporters if Washington was going to war with Tehran.

Tension between the US and Iran has grown as intelligence officials have declassified a photograph of an Iranian missile on a small boat in the Gulf in their efforts to help show the increasing threat from Tehran.

The intelligence was one of the critical reasons the US decided to move an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers into the region.

The US also ordered all nonessential government staff to leave Iraq.

A State Department official told Asharq Al-Awsat that Washington “is in continuous contact with its allies and partners.”

“We exchange intelligence information with the UK, France and Germany on what constitutes a threat to the region.”

Washington “has asked them to use their influence with the Iranian regime to calm the tension,” the official said.

On Wednesday, Trump denied a report about “infighting” among his foreign policy team on Iran.

“There is no infighting whatsoever,” he tweeted, denying reports by The Washington Post and The New York Times.

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