Trump's offer to meet with Iran discounted by Tehran and president's own advisers

President Donald Trump said Monday that he would be willing to meet “anytime” with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani without any preconditions, despite his previous reneging on an international nuclear deal and tweeting threats in all-caps to Iran’s leadership. 

“Good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet,” Trump said at a White House news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

It seems, however, that neither Iran nor Trump’s own administration is keen on the idea. 

Hours before Trump’s remarks, an Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said the U.S. president’s policies regarding 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,” Bahram Qassemi said at a Tehran news conference, according to The New York Times. “The United States has shown that it is totally unreliable.”

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Trump pulls US from Iran nuclear deal
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Trump pulls US from Iran nuclear deal
US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US President Donald Trump signs a document reinstating sanctions against Iran after announcing the US withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear deal, in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts to a question from the media after announcing his intention to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement during a statement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump announces his intent to withdraw from the JCPOA Iran nuclear agreement in the Diplomatic Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 08: U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a memorandum that re-instates sanctions on Iran after he announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Room at the White House May 8, 2018 in Washington, DC. After two and a half years of negotiations, Iran agreed in 2015 to end its nuclear program in exchange for Western countries, including the United States, lifting decades of economic sanctions. Since then international inspectors have not found any violations of the terms by Iran. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump announces his decision on the Iran nuclear deal in the Diplomatic Reception Room at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 8, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
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In a tweet responding to Trump’s offer, an adviser to President 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,” per a BBC translation

On the former point, Trump has made his disdain for the nuclear accord clear, calling it a “horrible, one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”  

Iran wasn’t the only one to dismiss Trump’s overture. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared to contradict the president, telling CNBC that while he supported Trump’s desire to meet with Iran, he stressed that 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 behaviour, 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 said. 

Trump has, in recent days, been engaged in a war of words with Iran. 

Last week, Trump warned Rouhani in the tweet below.

Iran brushed off Trump’s threatening tweet with an all-caps message of its own.  

 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

 

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