Trump willing to meet with Iranian president - despite threats

Dwayne Harmon
August 2, 2018

Donald Trump seemed to jettison threats of impending war with Iran on Monday, saying he was willing to meet the country's leaders without precondition, a dramatic about-face by the enigmatic United States president.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing that Pompeo had said previously that Trump wants to meet with global leaders to solve problems, including with Iranian officials.

"I would meet with Iran if they wanted to meet".

The overture marks a significant shift in tone and comes as Trump and the Iranians have been escalating their rhetoric following Trump's May withdrawal from the landmark Iran nuclear accord.

Under the deal struck between Iran and six major powers - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the United States under Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama - Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of crippling economic sanctions. If they want to meet, I'll meet any time they want, any time they want.

"Respect for the great nation of Iran, reduction in hostilities, USA returning to the nuclear deal..." Good for them. Good for us.

The 2015 agreement came in response to fears that Iran was developing a nuclear bomb. "I do believe that they will probably end up wanting to meet and I'm ready to meet any time that they want to".

Combo photo of Trump (left) and Rouhani.

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"Trump should first make up for his withdrawal from the nuclear deal and show that he respects his predecessors' commitments and worldwide law", added Kharrazi, a former foreign minister.

White House and administration officials rushed to place caveats on the president's seemingly open invitation.

The head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations said on Tuesday Tehran saw no worth in Trump's offer, made only a week after he warned Iran it risked dire consequences few had ever suffered in history if it made threats against Washington.

On July 23, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was not afraid to sanction top-ranking leaders of the "nightmare" Iranian regime.

According to foreign exchange website, the Iranian rial plunged to 111,500 against one U.S. dollar on the unofficial market, down from about 97,500 rials on Saturday.

But if Trump were to pursue diplomacy with Iran's leadership, he would have to overcome deep-seated concerns among Washington's closest regional allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, who are deeply skeptical about negotiating with Rouhani's government.

"We met as you know with Chairman Kim and you haven't had a missile fired off in nine months".

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