After meetings with advisers focused on Iran at Camp David on Saturday, President Trump said "major additional sanctions" will be imposed on Iran, to be unveiled Monday.
"Iran cannot have Nuclear Weapons! Under the terrible Obama plan, they would have been on their way to Nuclear in a short number of years, and existing verification is not acceptable," he said, explaining his rationale for keeping up the "maximum pressure" campaign through more sanctions.
“We want to be proportionate,” Trump told reporters previously on Saturday, while saying he'll never fully rule out using military force on Iran. “It’s always on the table until we get this solved,” he said of future potential US military attack. “We have a tremendously powerful military force in that area.”
Iran cannot have Nuclear Weapons! Under the terrible Obama plan, they would have been on their way to Nuclear in a short number of years, and existing verification is not acceptable. We are putting major additional Sanctions on Iran on Monday. I look forward to the day that.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019
....Sanctions come off Iran, and they become a productive and prosperous nation again - The sooner the better!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2019
He made surprising remarks Saturday after the prior dramatic events of Thursday night, where he reportedly called off a major attack in response to Iran's shooting down an American drone. During the Saturday pressing briefing just before departing to Camp David he said he would be Iran's "best friend" and that it could be a "wealthy" country if it renounced nuclear weapons, according to the AFP.
“This is not about the straits,” Trump said, referring to the vital Strait of Hormuz, through which some one-fifth of the world's total oil supply passes. “This is about Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon, very simple.”
He also addressed rumors of a deep split and animosity over Iran policy between himself and his top advisers, including national security advisor and notorious hawk John Bolton.
“John Bolton is doing a very good job, but is taking a generally tough posture,” Trump said. “I have here people who don’t have that posture. Only one that matters is me. Having people on both sides is very important.”
Reports in the immediate aftermath of the Thursday night called-off airstrikes and missile attacks on Iran suggested the White House secretly messaged Tehran's leaders via the government of Oman to request urgent last minute dialogue, which Iran's leaders reportedly rebuffed.
However, Iran formally denied that report; but it does appear Trump is indeed extending an open hand to restart talks, something which Iran will no doubt continue to reject given the US unilateral pullout of the 2015 nuclear deal over a year ago in May 2018.