News analysis

Trump treads fine line between sanctions and war with Iran

Economic tools the preferred weapons to military power

During a visit to Russia on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said his country was not seeking war with Iran.

"We fundamentally do not seek a war with Iran," Mr Pompeo told the American media travelling with him in the resort city of Sochi. But he added: "We have also made clear to the Iranians that if American interests are attacked, we will most certainly respond in an appropriate fashion." He was speaking at a joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2019, with the headline 'Trump treads fine line between sanctions and war with Iran'. Subscribe