Will Iran get the North Korean treatment from Trump?

A Singapore summit in Doha, perhaps?

President Trump and Hassan Rouhani.
(Image credit: Illustrated | ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images, SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images, vectortatu/iStock, natrot/iStock)

The Trump administration ratcheted up tensions with Iran last week, blaming the Islamic Republic for attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz and for shooting down an unmanned American drone in what America claims were international waters. (Iran denied responsibility for the tanker attacks and claimed the drone overflew its territorial waters.) The administration was prepared to launch a series of strikes on Thursday, before the president called them off at the last minute.

Why the sudden reversal? Trump claims that he found out on the brink of giving the go-ahead that the casualty estimate for the strikes was as high as 150 people, which he — rightly — considered disproportionate to the Iranian offense (which caused no casualties). Others have noted that Fox News' Tucker Carlson, one of Trump's favorite talking heads, has been whispering in the president's ear, warning him away from his hawkish advisors and from starting a shooting war with Iran. Perhaps he deserves the credit for moderating the president's stance?

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Noah Millman

Noah Millman is a screenwriter and filmmaker, a political columnist and a critic. From 2012 through 2017 he was a senior editor and featured blogger at The American Conservative. His work has also appeared in The New York Times Book Review, Politico, USA Today, The New Republic, The Weekly Standard, Foreign Policy, Modern Age, First Things, and the Jewish Review of Books, among other publications. Noah lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son.