Speaking with MSNBC’s Geoff Bennett on New Years Day, an expert on Middle East relations said Donald Trump is getting played by Iran leaders into making the moves that eventually resulted in the U.S. embassy in Iraq being placed under siege.
According to Vali Nasr, a former U.S. diplomat specializing in Middle Eastern affairs, the Trump administration has no coherent strategy for the region and Iran is exploiting that very fact.
“The Trump administration has made clear that if a U.S. soldier or service member or, in this case, a contractor is killed by Iran or Iranian backed militia, that they will respond. So they set a clear line and they abided by it,” host Bennett stated.
“That is correct,” Nasr replied. “But the problem is that he thought that he can browbeat the Iranians anytime that he wants and he’s not going to get a response. The Iranians are also telling him that, look, we can also respond. This time it might not be a Benghazi, but it might again be a Benghazi in September 2020 right before the elections.”
“They are sending the signal that the path that is he going will end him up in a war, and does he really want that?” he continued. “And you can see Trump is struggling with that. He wants to be tough on Iran, but he really doesn’t want to go to war with Iran and he has checkmated himself.”