President Trump Willing To Hold Talks With Iran Without Preconditions
One week after raising the specter of war with Iran, U.S. President Donald Trump extended an olive branch to Hassan Rouhani, saying he would meet his Iranian counterpart for talks on improving bilateral relations. “I’d meet with anybody. I believe in meetings,” the American leader asserted just days after he tweeted—in capital letters—that Iran risks “SUFFER[ING] CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.” The warning came after Rouhani threatened that a conflict with the Islamic Republic would be the “mother of all wars,” and following a declaration by notorious Iranian Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani, “If you [U.S.] begin the war, we [Iran] will end the war.” Tensions between Washington and Tehran have skyrocketed in the wake of President Trump’s decision in May to pull-out of the 2015 nuclear deal and re-impose sanctions on the Iranian regime. Responding to President Trump’s latest comments, an Iranian official stressed that future negotiations with the U.S. are contingent on the White House first agreeing to recommit to the atomic pact. No U.S. president has met with an Iranian leader since Washington cut diplomatic relations with Tehran a year after the 1979 Islamic Revolution toppled the U.S.-allied shah. Former president Barack Obama did, however, break a three-decade freeze by phoning Rouhani in 2013.