Is Trump Greeting Message to Iranian People Distorted?

Is Trump Greeting Message to Iranian People Distorted?
Fri Mar 24, 2017 09:48:19

When Donald Trump sent greetings to the Iranian people on Wednesday for the Persian New Year, or Nowruz, it offered a glimpse into an administration that is still debating how to deal with a country that Trump has painted as an implacable foe.

The five-paragraph statement went through multiple drafts, according to two people involved in the process. Hard-liners in the White House first tried to kill the message, and when that failed, stripped it of references to engaging with the Iranian government or a future in which Iran and the United States might peacefully coexist.

Among the sections deleted were one that said America looked forward to engaging someday with a “representative Iranian government” on the basis of mutual respect, and another that cited Henry A. Kissinger’s oft-repeated line that Iran needed to decide whether it is a “nation or a cause.”

While those sections passed muster with the national security adviser, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, one person close to the process said, they ran into resistance from Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, who is among those advocating a tougher line against Iran. Mr. Bannon, an administration official said, “gutted the most ridiculous material” after arguing that Mr. Trump should not send the message at all. NY Times reported.

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