Report: Trump gives Sen. Rand Paul the OK to meet with Iran

Recent tensions between the United States and Iran have both sides of the political aisle questioning whether war is on the horizon.

But President Donald Trump has made it clear that he’s not interested in starting any wars in the Middle East, and now, he’s letting one Republican senator do his part to find a peaceful solution between the U.S. and the Islamic Republic.

Sen. Paul gets the OK

Politico reported that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul recently approached President Trump with a request for his permission to speak with Iranian leaders on behalf of the administration to try and find a way to reduce tensions and avoid a military conflict.

The president reportedly agreed to allow the senator to do so, and with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in New York City for meetings at the United Nations this week, it would seem to be an opportune time for Paul to pursue that chance.

No meeting has been officially scheduled between Paul and Zarif yet, and both Sen. Paul’s office and Iranian officials declined requests for comment.

“But,” Politico reported, “the president’s willingness to tap Paul as the go-between with a top Iranian official is a demonstration both of his unorthodox approach to foreign affairs and his continuing desire, even as his aides threaten to squeeze Iran until it capitulates to U.S. demands, to entice the Islamic Republic’s leaders to the negotiating table.”

Getting to the table

Indeed, the Trump administration has imposed cripplingly tough economic sanctions on the Iranian regime with a goal of forcing the nation to engage in negotiations over its nuclear ambitions and support for terrorism around the globe.

But the sanctions have yet to achieve the desired results, and even as members of Congress and prominent voices in the administration — such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton — seem prepared to take action to force Iran to the table, Trump has remained hesitant.

Hawks and doves golfing with the president

Enter the libertarian-leaning, needless-war-avoiding Kentucky senator who joined fellow GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC) and David Perdue (GA) for a round of golf with the president over the weekend.

Graham tweeted that he had used that round of golf to advise the president to present a strong military front in the region.

Sen. Paul tweeted in response:

Allowing Sen. Paul — who is fully in support of Trump’s “America First” agenda — the opportunity to find a diplomatic solution with Iran that would avoid conflict is not what anyone would have expected, least of all Iran. It just proves once again that Trump will utilize any and every tool available to make our nation better by achieving peace through strength without even firing a shot.

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