White House says Trump could still renegotiate Iran nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is confident he could still renegotiate a nuclear deal with Tehran, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said on Monday, a day after Iran announced it would retreat further from the 2015 nuclear pact.

Asked if Trump believes he can still get Iran to negotiate a new nuclear agreement, Conway told reporters at the White House: "He said he's open. If Iran wants to start behaving like a normal country... sure, absolutely."

Trump later took to Twitter to reiterate the White House stance that "Iran will never have a nuclear weapon" but gave no other details.

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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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Conway also defended Trump's decision last week to kill one of Iran's top military commanders, saying the president "did what a responsible, strong - not weak - commander-in-chief does when faced with the opportunity to take out one of the - if not the - world's most wanted terrorists."

Iran has said it will not renegotiate the nuclear deal, which Trump abandoned in 2018, triggering a sharp decline in relations between Tehran and Washington.

Tehran has already breached many of the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear activities and on Sunday said it would abandon limitations on enriching uranium. But it said it would still continue to cooperate with the U.N. nuclear watchdog and could quickly reverse its steps if U.S. sanctions are removed.

Trump's administration has pursued a "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran that it said could help pressure Tehran to come to the negotiating table. Trump has previously said he is open to talks with Tehran.

(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Dan Grebler)

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