Trump frustrated with advisers over Iran, wants to speak to leaders in Tehran: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senator introduces bill to hold online platforms liable for political bias Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally Rubio responds to journalist who called it 'strange' to see him at Trump rally MORE is frustrated with some of his top advisers over the threat posed by Iran, saying hard-line aides could rush the U.S. into a military struggle with the Islamic republic and break his campaign pledge to avoid costly foreign wars, according to The Washington Post

Several U.S. officials told the Post that Trump prefers a diplomatic off-ramp to deescalate tensions between Washington and Tehran, which have escalated amid what military and intelligence officials have deemed to be credible threats against U.S. interests in the Gulf region. 

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Trump is particularly frustrated with national security adviser John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonTensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat The Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoOvernight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran Progressive nonprofits sue White House over missing notes from Putin meeting Progressive nonprofits sue White House over missing notes from Putin meeting MORE, according to the Post, both of whom have taken aggressive stances against Iran. 

“They are getting way out ahead of themselves, and Trump is annoyed,” a senior administration official told the newspaper. “There was a scramble for Bolton and Pompeo and others to get on the same page.” 

The official said Bolton, who has advocated for regime change in Tehran in the past, is “just in a different place” from Trump, who too has been a vocal Iran critic. Trump “wants to talk to the Iranians; he wants a deal” and is open to negotiation with the Iranian government, the official added. 

“He is not comfortable with all this ‘regime change’ talk,” the official added, saying Trump equates such discussions with the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Another official told the Post that Trump is not inclined to respond to any Iranian provocation with force unless there is a “big move” from Tehran, adding that while Trump may be frustrated with Bolton, his discontent is not near the level it reached with former Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonBolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration Bolton says Russia, China seeking to promote discord in Trump administration Trump's nastiest break-ups: A look at the president's most fiery feuds MORE, with whom the president was known to be displeased.

When asked of Trump’s supposed frustration with Bolton, National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis told the Post that its reporting "doesn’t accurately reflect reality.” 

The National Security Council did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

Trump on Wednesday dismissed reports of infighting over his administration’s stance regarding Iran.

"There is no infighting whatsoever. Different opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision — it is a very simple process," Trump tweeted. "All sides, views, and policies are covered. I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon." 

The tweet came after a report that the Pentagon presented the White House with a plan to send up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event that tensions with Iran escalate.

The relationship between Washington and Tehran has deteriorated even further in recent weeks, with the U.S. sending a U.S. carrier strike group to the region in response to unspecified “troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” and new reports of Iranian forces placing missiles on small boats in the Persian Gulf.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also announced last week that he would limit Iran’s compliance with the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.