Donald Trump spoke Monday during a joint news conference with Italy’s premier and said he’s willing to meet with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani without first demanding diplomatic concessions.
“I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet. I don’t know if they’re ready. They’re having a hard time,” he announced at the press conference, as reported by Bloomberg.
As tensions between the two countries continue to rise following Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal, he states that he is ready to meet with Iran anytime and that he would do so without preconditions.
The deal, created in 2015 following fears that Iran was developing an atomic bomb, was originally made between the United States and six other major world powers. When Trump pulled out of the deal in May of this year, citing that the accord did not align with “national interests,” tensions rose between the U.S. and its European allies, the latter of which claimed that the deal was, in fact, working.
Trump’s overture to Iran follows on the heels of a post he made on Twitter in which he threatens Hassan Rouhani after Rouhani warns the United States that starting a conflict with Iran would ignite the “mother of all wars.”
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
Just a week later, Trump seems to have changed his mind and is ready for Iran to join him again at the negotiating table.
“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 added during the conference on Monday.
However, the White House has made further comments that call Trump’s words into question.
National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis states, “If the Iranian regime changes its behavior in the ways we’ve identified, the United States is prepared to take actions to end sanctions, reestablish full diplomatic and commercial relations, permit Iran to have advanced technology, and support the reintegration of the Iranian economy into the international economic system.”
Secretary of State Michael Pompeo adds that Trump is willing to sit down and meet with Iran when they are willing to enter into an agreement that prevents proliferation, in addition to adhering to many other preconditions.
An Iranian official has since responded to Trump’s statements, saying that the United States should return to the deal they pulled out of if they wish to pave the bumpy road between Iran and the U.S. It is still unknown as to whether Rouhani has plans to meet with Trump.
Although Trump seems interested in renegotiating a more comprehensive deal with Iran, analysts believe that it would be very difficult to get Iran’s political leaders to sit down and meet with him.