During President Donald Trump’s interview with Chuck Todd, scheduled to be fully broadcast on Sunday, he said that if he declares war on Iran, it will mean “obliteration like you’ve never seen before.” He almost immediately tried to qualify this by saying that “I’m not looking to do that” and that there were no pre-conditions on talks with Tehran.
Earlier this week, the president was reportedly on the verge of launching a strike on Iran following the downing of a U.S. drone that the Pentagon says was over international waters, but aborted the mission minutes before it was to be carried out.
The Trump administration has taken several confrontational stances against Iran, including breaking the multilateral nuclear agreement with the country and declaring the Revolutionary Guard a terrorist group. Some members of Trump’s inner circle, particularly National Security Adviser John Bolton, have been itching for a military engagement with Iran. In recent weeks, however, Trump himself has seemed less certain that he wants to go through with such a conflict.