In comments on Thursday, President Trump revealed that he believes that having withdrawn from the P5+1 nuclear deal and started imposing new sanctions means Iranians are “feeling a lot of pain right now.” He predicted they would have to call him and ask for a deal.
Trump withdrew from the deal in May, and claims now Iranians are “treating the US with a lot more respect.” Iran has mostly focused public efforts on continuing to keep its commerce flowing worldwide, since the US wasn’t honoring much of the deal in the first place. Iranian officials say the priority is to sell as much oil as possible.
Despite Trump making much of the moves being about forcing Iran to renegotiate the deal, he has been very vague on what he actually wants out of Iran that is different from the existing P5+1 deal.
Trump’s interest in forcing Iran to accept a different deal is just part of the equation, and many analysts have seen the rhetoric coming out of the US as focused on the idea of provoking a confrontation with Iran to justify military action.
Trump’s own comments suggest this may not be his idea, and that rather he’s doing much the same as he did with North Korea, dialing up tensions as much as possible and making a lot of threats as a bargaining strategy to force the other side to give him a better deal.