Trump’s hardball game on Iran, N Korea won’t work: Ex-Pentagon official

Press TV – US President Donald Trump’s hardball approach with North Korea and Iran will not work, and Trump’s whole issue with Tehran will die soon, according to an American political analyst and former Pentagon official. 

Michael Maloof made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday while commenting on Trump’s policy on North Korea and Iran.

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised his boss’s policy towards North Korea, vowing to continue diplomacy “until the first bomb drops.”

Maloof said, “The Trump administration is playing a game of hardball with North Korea, and with Iran at the same time. They do see linkages there between them.”

“Trump is playing hardball with North Koreans and it reflects his professional business background, his elements of the deal if you will, that were laid out in the Art of Deal, his book,” he stated.

“And it’s basically to go big on the one hand and then settle for options if you have to, but be pragmatic as much as you can, and that’s why you see him play both the hard-line and the diplomatic line at the same time with North Korea,” he explained.

“He is also doing the same thing with Iran. His style is to go for the leverage. And that’s important. He is seeking leverage. And this is precisely the way he used to operate in real estate in New York. He has no government background,” the analyst noted.

“But he’s finding that operating in real estate is far different than operating in government, but he has no other point of reference,” he added.

“So I see him doing what he did the other day toward Iran by announcing that he would certify [the Iran deal,] but in fact he has not decertified it. And basically he is pushing Congress to make a decision,” he said.

“And I think the whole issue will die. And I think the government of Iran just needs to calm down, you know watch activities closely but not overreact to them. And that other issues will come to the forefront. And his attention will be drawn elsewhere,” the expert argued.

On Friday, Trump refused to certify the nuclear agreement with Iran, and warned he might ultimately terminate it, in defiance of other world powers and undermining a landmark victory of multilateral diplomacy.

Trump’s speech signaled a major shift in US policy and detailed a more confrontational stance toward Iran over its civilian nuclear and ballistic missile programs.