Actions by the Trump administration had heightened questions about whether the president was seeking a military confrontation with Iran, starting with his decision to back out of a nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration and continuing with his recent orders for a military buildup, also including the deployment of a carrier strike group and B-52 bombers.

“We’re not looking for regime change. I want to make that clear,” Trump said at a joint news conference Monday with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. “We’re looking for no nuclear weapons.”…

That could set the stage for U.S. talks with Iran, Trump suggested, saying that “I do believe Iran would like to talk, and if they’d like to talk, we’ll talk also. . . . Nobody wants to see terrible things happen, especially me.”

Trump’s relatively conciliatory words marked a contrast with some of his recent statements and those of some top aides.