July 16, 2019, 6:00 PM CDT
The lengthy interview and rather accommodating tone from Zarif appeared to succeed in softening up the Trump administration. President Trump said at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday that the U.S. was “not looking for regime change,” although he added that he did “want them out of Yemen.”
“They’d like to talk, and we’ll see what happens,” Trump said.
Following those comments, Sec. Pompeo said that “for the first time” Iran was “ready to negotiate on their missile program.”
Oil prices plunged by 4 percent on Tuesday after Trump and Pompeo seemed to lay the groundwork for de-escalation. There are no formal next steps that the two countries might take, but the positive back-and-forth is a long way from where they were a few weeks ago, on the eve of a U.S. military strike.
I suspect Javad Zarif, Iran's Foreign Minister, struck a somewhat conciliatory tone in his interviews with major American news outlets because Trump's A-Team was sending conciliatory signals; I think that's why Zarif got the interviews. (Zarif considers Bolton part of the B-Team)
And as Nick mentions:
The nascent thaw in U.S.-Iran relations comes after the U.S. Gulf of Mexico avoided serious damage from Hurricane Barry, and 1.3 million barrels per day of disrupted oil production is in the process of coming back online.