Trump Offers Iran Olive Branch Days After Threatening Tweet

Iran Nuclear Program Mohammad Javad Zarif

Iran poured scorn yesterday on an offer by President Trump to meet President Rouhani in an attempt to cut a new deal between the countries.

Mike Pompeo, the USA secretary of state, appeared to contradict Mr Trump on Tuesday when he said the U.S. had several preconditions before talks.

Why did the United States withdraw from the nuclear deal?

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he would meet with Iran's leader without any preconditions, despite his administration's hard line with the country in general.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has said Iran is honouring its commitments.

"When you translate those preconditions in Farsi, the general sense is that the U.S. is asking Iran to let the United States run Iran's domestic policy; the second precondition sounds like they want us to let the USA runs Iran's foreign policy;and the third precondition sounds. that they don't want Iran to have missiles or a peaceful nuclear programme".

Rouhani's chief of staff claimed earlier this month in Iran's state-owned newspaper that Rouhani had rejected eight requests from Trump for one-on-one talks past year.

Trump noted his recent one-on-one discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin as examples of his direct diplomacy with leaders deemed hostile to USA interests.

The withdrawal is reverberating through Iran's political system, damaging moderates and reformists who championed the diplomacy and saw relief from sanctions as the ticket to economic prosperity. On Monday, he said that he would be willing to meet Rouhani without preconditions to discuss how to improve relations. "But now maybe Trump wants to give the Iranian people an opportunity and, God willing, it could be a way to get past our disastrous situation", added Hushiar, an office manager in her 50s.

Trump would have to agree to return to the internationally-backed nuclear deal with Iran and also would have to suspend new sanctions against Tehran before any talks, Hamid Abutalebi, an aide to Iranian President Hassan Rohani, said on Twitter.

"After it arrogantly and unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement, how can it be trusted?"

Washington is preparing to re-impose sanctions on Tehran within days - despite objections from the UK, France, China, Russia and Germany, which also signed the 2015 agreement.

Earlier this month, Trump sent a late-night, all-caps tweet threatening Rouhani with "consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before".

"I'd meet with anybody".

"How can Trump prove to the Iranian nation that his comments of last night reflect a true intention for negotiation and have not been expressed for populist gains", he added. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander, Qassem Soleimani, chimed in as well, claiming that President Trump had failed in Operation Enduring freedom and would get the same result should the USA attack Iran.

Shortly before the tweet, Rouhani had addressed Trump in a speech, saying that hostile USA policies could lead to "the mother of all wars".

A US official reportedly communicated to Israel that there had been no change in the US' Iran policy, notwithstanding Trump's offer to negotiate with Tehran without any "preconditions".

Given Iran's various centers of power and the skepticism about such a meeting on the part of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the country's spiritual guide and most powerful man, it's very unlikely to happen. "But I do worry very much belligerent rhetoric doesn't exist in a vacuum", and there is a risk of "an accidental conflagration" with Iran.

For some analysts, Trump's approach is more moderate than that of some of his top advisers, such as National Security Advisor John Bolton.

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