President Donald Trump said Monday that he would be willing to meet with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani without any preconditions, despite growing tensions between both sides amid developments over the 2015 nuclear deal.
The withdrawal, while long anticipated and widely telegraphed, left the 2015 agreement reached by seven countries after more than two years of grueling negotiations in tatters.
While Trump had long scorned the Iran deal, threatening repeatedly to rip it up during the 2016 presidential race, his impulse to act now was reinforced by what he views as the success of his policy toward North Korea, The New York Times adds.
However, it seems that neither Iran nor Trump’s own administration is keen on the idea, HuffPost comments. Just hours before Trump’s remarks, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said that Washington’s positions toward Iran, including the withdrawal in May from the Iran nuclear deal and the reimposition of sanctions, undermined any chance of engagement between the two nations.
“With current America and these policies, there will definitely not be the possibility of dialogue and engagement. The United States has shown that it is totally unreliable,” Bahram Qassemi said at a Tehran news conference, according to The New York Times. In a tweet responding to Trump’s offer, an adviser to Rouhani later said Iran would be open for talks only if the U.S. “return[s] to the nuclear deal” and respects “the Iranian nation’s rights.”
State Secretary Mike Pompeo also appeared to contradict his superior, saying that while he supported Trump’s desire to meet with Iran, the two sides would only meet if several preconditions were first met.
“If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people, reduce their malign behavior, can agree that it’s worthwhile to enter in a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the President said he’s prepared to sit down and have a conversation with him,” Pompeo pointed out.