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May 31, 2019 4:14 pm

Report: Ex-Obama Administration Officials Urge Iran, ‘Don’t Take Trump’s Bait’

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US President Barack Obama meets with President-elect Donald Trump (L) to discuss transition plans in the White House Oval Office in Washington, DC, Nov. 10, 2016. Photo: Reuters / Kevin Lamarque.

Amid heightened recent tensions between the US and Iran, a number of former Obama administration officials have been advising the Tehran regime to avoid escalation with the Trump administration, The Daily Beast reported on Friday.

“Their message to Iran: Don’t take Trump’s bait. Stay calm,” the report said.

While the unnamed ex-officials – whose goal is to preserve the July 2015 nuclear deal, one of Obama’s major foreign policy initiatives — told The Daily Beast their contacts with the Iranians were “normal,” a Republican congressional aide quoted in the report said, “It’s not just about what they were saying to the Iranians. It’s about what they were saying to their political allies back here in the US.”

Their strategy was to divide and isolate the Trump administration just as the Trump administration was trying to re-establish deterrence with Iran,” the aide, also unnamed, pointed out. “In the current highly partisan political environment, the only safe course is to signal national unity — and they contributed to eroding that at home and abroad.”

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However, one ex-Obama administration official described the communications as “neither unusual nor particularly consequential.”

“Exaggerating their significance lends undue credence to those cynically blaming others for their own failing approach,” the official charged.

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