News analysis

Trump looking to avoid new war as tensions with Iran escalate

Iran's shooting down of an American drone is textbook escalation in a spiral that can lead to more strikes from either side and ultimately to war and, even potentially, regime change in Iran.

But while President Donald Trump is somewhat boxed in and surrounded by hawks, he does not want war, a well-known fact underlined on Thursday when he nuanced an early tweet saying "Iran made a big mistake".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2019, with the headline 'Trump looking to avoid new war as tensions with Iran escalate'. Print Edition | Subscribe