Iranian diplomat says no value in Trump’s talks offer

Iranian diplomat says no value in Trump’s talks offer

His all-caps tweets might indicate otherwise, but Donald Trump said he'll meet with Iran 'anytime they want to'.

Bahram Ghasemi, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman, said Monday there was no possibility of dialogue, and that the USA had shown itself to be "totally unreliable". It was the first time the presidents of the two countries had spoken since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and the storming of the U.S. Embassy, which led to the severing of diplomatic ties.

"Today, we are at a very critical juncture regarding the JCPOA, and Europe's transparent expression of its position on actions (that it will take) after the USA illegal withdrawal is very important for the Iranian nation", Rouhani said in a meeting with Rob Macaire, the new British ambassador to Tehran. "Should they believe Pompeo's 12 preconditions or the president's unconditional proposition?"

Rouhani said during a meeting with Britain's ambassador on Tuesday that after what he called the "illegal" US withdrawal from the nuclear deal, "the ball is in Europe's court now".

Shortly afterwards Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he would support a meeting if Iran showed it was willing to change its behaviour. Reports of an imminent U.S. strike on Iranian nuclear facilities by anonymous sources in Australia have pushed the risk of confrontation to a new high.

Iran is less isolated than North Korea and less amenable to a media spectacle that doesn't restore the benefits Iran lost.

While the Revolutionary Guards do not speak for Rouhani, they are an influential force in Iran. Roughly one year ago, Bolton - not yet serving in his current post - unveiled a detailed plan on how the USA should leave the Iran nuclear deal.

"If Trump had not withdrawn from the nuclear deal and not imposed [new] sanctions on Iran, there would be no problem with negotiations with America", he told state news agency IRNA.

The head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations said Tehran saw no value in Trump's offer, made only a week after he warned Iran it risked dire consequences if it made threats against Washington.

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Other signatories are working with Iran to try to save the agreement while Washington begins reimposing sanctions on Tehran that are to start taking effect in August.

"Today we are at a very critical point in history regarding the nuclear deal, and Europe's transparent measures to compensate for the United States' unlawful withdrawal from it are very important for the Iranian nation", Rouhani said after talks with new British Ambassador Rob Macaire.

Firstly, Trump has sought to meet his Iranian counterpart numerous times in the past already, without success.

As Iran remains in the nuclear deal with other world powers-including Britain, Russia and China-that don't sent it threatening tweets, there seems to be little incentive for the country's leaders to humor Trump.

And it's unclear whether Rouhani has any interest in meeting.

Monday's olive branch from Trump marks an abrupt shift in tone, and may be little more than theater with USA midterm elections looming on the horizon.

Iran's oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds due to the sanctions, straining oil markets.

More recently, Trump and Iranian leaders have engaged in a heated war of words.

Iranian figures familiar with policy-making say, as a faltering economy and a sliding currency stir street protests, that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei could consider diplomacy with Washington and drink from "the chalice of poison", a reference to the phrase used by his predecessor Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini when he reluctantly agreed to a UN-mediated truce that ended the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war.

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