The Christian Science Monitor

Trump lowered tensions with Iran: why he had to step in

As Venezuela appeared last month to be on the brink of a momentous political shift, President Donald Trump’s national security team assured him that indeed the strife-torn South American country was about to take the turn to new leadership the administration had been encouraging for months.

But in the end things didn’t go as John Bolton, the national security adviser, or for that matter Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, said they would. Venezuela’s authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro maintained his hold on power.

And an unhappy Mr. Trump suggested to close friends and advisers that he felt he had been misled by his team.

Now it’s tensions with Iran that have surged to their highest levels yet under the Trump administration. And once again the president is signaling discomfort with the advice and sense of heightened urgency he is feeling from his team – again led by Mr. Bolton – to go full steam toward a confrontational posture.

“John ... has strong views on things which is OK. I’m the one who tempers

North Korea parallelsFrustration on both sidesPompeo’s 12 points

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