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Eli Lake

On Iran, Is Rand Paul the New John Kerry?

The Kentucky senator should be careful in his planned negotiations with Iran’s foreign minister.

Be wary of Iran.

Be wary of Iran.

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

For the past two months, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif’s message to Americans has been that neither his country nor President Donald Trump wants war. So it’s not surprising that in an interview this week, Zarif said the door to negotiations is “wide open” if the U.S. lifts economic sanctions.

Now the junior senator from Kentucky would like to test that hypothesis. As Politico first reported, Rand Paul has Trump’s blessing to meet with Zarif and extend an olive branch. According to two senior administration officials, Trump doubts Paul will succeed, but sees no harm in letting him try.