By BB Portnoy
The Trump administration is looking to drive a “wedge” between Russia and Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing an unnamed senior US official.
The goal of this strategy, the report said, is “to both end the Syrian conflict and bolster the fight against Islamic State.”
The question, the report went on to ask, is what Russian President Vladimir Putin will demand from the US in exchange for downgrading military and diplomatic ties with the Tehran regime.
In November, it was reported that Russia and Iran — which cooperate closely in their ongoing effort to prop up the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad — were in talks about a potential $10 billion arms deal.
Earlier last year, however, ex-Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Magen said Moscow did not fully trust Tehran as a partner in its foreign policy endeavors.
Meanwhile, in a Fox News interview that aired on Sunday, President Donald Trump commented on the future of the July 2015 nuclear deal reached by Iran and six world powers.
“We’ll see what happens,” he told interviewer Bill O’Reilly. “We’re going to see what happens. I can say this: They [the Iranians] have total disregard for our country. They are the number one terrorist state; they are sending money all over the place, and weapons, and you can’t do that… It’s like they’re emboldened. They follow our planes; they circle our ships with their little boats; and they lost respect, because they can’t believe anybody could be so stupid as to make a deal like that.”
Last week, the Trump administration “officially put Iran on notice” following recent hostile behavior — including a ballistic missile test — by the Islamic Republic. On Friday, the Treasury Department announced new sanctions targeting Tehran.
Watch Trump’s Fox News interview below (the Iran portion begins around 0:35):