President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. President Trump took questions on trade with China, Iran and other topics.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media during a meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. President Trump took questions on trade with China, Iran and other topics.

President Trump told his acting defense secretary that he does not want to go to war with Iran.

But tensions between the United States and Iran escalated this week, as Trump mulled “specific and credible threats from Iran against U.S. personnel in the Middle East,” according to The Washington Post.

The Post’s reporting follows a scoop from The New York Times that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented a plan at the White House to send a maximum of 120,000 troops to the Middle East, pending military aggression or an increase of work on nuclear weapons by Iran.

The United States ordered non-essential personnel to leave Iraq, though it was not immediately clear what evidence or threats prompted the directive.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov this week.

Here’s more on the meeting from Financial Times:

…the two men said that both countries wanted a better bilateral relationship and pledged to start tentative work on potential new arms control negotiations, but that critical disagreements remained.

The meeting, which was to be followed by talks between both men and President Vladimir Putin, was the first between top-level US and Russian officials since the special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s report concluded there had been no collusion between Russia and President Donald Trump’s election campaign.

“On Venezuela, we have disagreement,” Mr Pompeo told a joint news conference. “The time has come for Nicolás Maduro to go. He has brought nothing but misery to the Venezuelan people, and we hope that Russia’s support for Maduro will end.”

This week, U.K. leader Theresa May agreed to schedule her exit as prime minister for the first week of June.

Brexiteer Boris Johnson said he will vie for the leadership of the Conservative party, citing his determination to fulfill the U.K.’s exit from Britain.

And Game of Thrones isn’t the only place to find dragon content these days…a New Zealand girl sent Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern $3.20 to fund research into dragons and psychics.

Ardern returned the sum, but assured the girl that she would “still keep an eye out for those dragons.”

We recap all the biggest headlines from around the world this week.

Guests

  • Jennifer Williams Foreign editor, Vox; co-host of Vox's foreign affairs podcast, "Worldly"; @jenn_ruth
  • Nick Schifrin Foreign affairs and defense correspondent, PBS NewsHour; @nickschifrin
  • Dorothy Parvaz Global politics reporter, ThinkProgress; @dparvaz

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