Donald Trump claimed Iran would have joined his Abraham accords

Iran Was Broke and Wanted a Deal, Trump Claims

Friday, 06/21/2024

Former US President Donald Trump says he was ready to “make a deal” with Iran on “everything” toward the end of his term, claiming that Tehran also “wanted” a deal because the country was in dire straits as a result of his tough sanctions.

“Iran was broke. They had no money. I sanctioned the countries that wanted to buy oil from Iran. And I would’ve made a fair deal with Iran. I was gonna get along with Iran,” Trump said on the All In podcast Thursday.

“The deal was simple: Iran can’t have a nuclear missile. It cannot have that nuclear capability. Other than that we talk about everything. They would’ve been very happy,” he added.

These remarks might surprise or alarm many Iranians who have been following the US presidential campaign, assuming that a Trump win over Biden could mean a dramatic shift in policy towards Iran and exerting more pressure on the Islamic Republic.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump will go head to head next week in their first presidential debate in the run up to the election in November. Trump’s words Thursday was a glimpse into what may be coming in that debate, as far as foreign policy and relations with Iran are concerned.

“I had them at a point where you could’ve negotiated,” Trump said about Iran. “A child could have made a deal with them. And Biden did nothing.”

Biden won the 2020 election with an explicit promise to revive the 2015 nuclear deal that president Trump abandoned in 2018. In pursuit of the ‘revival’, the Biden administration reversed Trump’s 'maximum pressure' sanctions campaign and, in effect, allowed Iran to sell its oil, mainly to China utilizing its ‘shadow’ fleet.

“A young man that does nothing, or a young woman that does nothing in kindergarten could’ve made a deal with Iran at that time. Because they wanted to make a deal. And Biden never took advantage of it,” Trump said in the podcast lambasting Biden.

“Now… China buys billions and billions of dollars of oil every month… And now they’re much tougher to deal with.”

Critics of president Biden's Iran policy also make the point that by being "soft" on the Islamic Republic he allowed Tehran to recover from Trump's pressure and have resources not only to expand its nuclear program to a dangerous level but also strengthen its proxy forces in the region. Some argue that if Iran had remained under severe financial strain Hamas would not have been able to attack Israel on October 7.

This is a line that many expect Donald Trump to use more often towards the November election, especially as US policy on Iran is inextricably linked to Israel and the ongoing war in Gaza and the wider crises in the Middle East.

“Towards the end of my term… there was no terror going on,” Trump said when asked about October 7th and the attack on Israel. “That attack would’ve never happened in a million years. Iran didn’t have the money for Hamas. They didn’t have the money for Hezbollah… Iran was broke, I say respectfully.”

Donald Trump also said he thought Iran would have "eventually" joined the Abraham accords, which saw the UAE and Bahrain sign 'normalization' agreements with Israel. It was the first such agreement since Israel's peace treaty with Jordan in 1994.

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