Published: Wed, August 01, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Iranian Officials Rebuff Trump Meeting Offer

Iranian Officials Rebuff Trump Meeting Offer

U.S. President Donald Trump says he would "certainly meet" with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani if the Iranian leader was willing, adding he would do it with "no preconditions".

Speaking during a joint news conference with Italy's premier, Trump said he would meet with the Iranians "anytime they want to".

In May, the United States pulled out of the 2015 deal between world powers and Tehran under which worldwide sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on its nuclear program. "Today we are at a very critical point in history regarding the nuclear deal, and Europe's transparent measures to compensate for the United States' unlawful withdrawal from it are very important for the Iranian nation", Rouhani said after talks with new British Ambassador Rob Macaire, the Associated Press reported. "It was a ridiculous deal", said Trump.

The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) rebuffs US President Donald Trump's offer of talks with Tehran, saying the Iranian nation will never allow their officials to hold talks with the "Great Satan" and will, instead, stay on the path of resistance against pressure.

Mr Trump's abrupt change in tone also echoes the run-up to his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, another diplomatic first, which took place after the two leaders had previously traded insults and threats.

Since Trump withdrew the USA from the JCPOA, the nuclear deal which guaranteed Iran some sanctions relief in exchange for a halt on nuclear weapons development, Pompeo's State Department has kept up its pressure campaign against Iran's government. If Trump thinks otherwise then (a) he's fooling himself and (b) he should set some preconditions through which Iran can demonstrate its potential willingness to abandon the nuclear program.

"Any little thing that can help the people in this bad situation, I really want it to happen for us", said Fathi, a young woman working for an insurance broker.

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Former IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei also told Trump, "You can not renege on a deal considered by all as a keystone, threaten the country, humiliate its leaders and then impulsively call for talks!" Good for them. Good for us. Iran's leaders have shown little interest in engaging with the United States, however, particularly given the Trump administration's decision to leave the nuclear accord and - in an echo of its approach to North Korea - its subsequent drive to squeeze Iran's economy.

Trump stating he has no preconditions for talks with Iran seems to put him at odds with Pompeo and potentially other top advisers.

Several Iranian public figures said it was impossible to imagine negotiations with Washington after it tore up the nuclear deal in May.

"If we could work something out that's meaningful, not the waste of paper that the other deal was, I would certainly be willing to meet", he added, noting that it would be good for the United States, Iran and the world.

In May, Trump withdrew the United States from the landmark 2015 worldwide agreement created to deny Tehran the ability to build nuclear weapons.

"Iranian officials were skeptical of this proposal from the moment Trump made it, and senior Iranian officials issued a statement saying they considered the offer of talks 'worthless", as Trump's words contradicted his actions.

For now, this is also the official line, with supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei saying earlier this month that talking to Trump would be "useless".

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