US President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday that the US has not reached out to Iran for talks, adding that the Islamic Republic’s economy continues to collapse and that he’s “very sad for the Iranian people.”
Trump also threatened to meet provocations by Iran with “great force”, but said he’s also willing to negotiate.
Trump spoke to reporters as he left the White House Monday evening en route to a rally in Pennsylvania.
He said, “If they do something it will be met great force.”
“We have no indication that they will,” Trump added, calling Iran “hostile” and the “No. 1 provocateur of terror.”
Trump called out a “fake news” report which claimed that the US reached out to Iran for talks, saying that “the Fake News put out a typically false statement, without any knowledge that the United States was trying to set up a negotiation with Iran.”
“Iran will call us if and when they are ever ready,” he added in another tweet.
....Iran will call us if and when they are ever ready. In the meantime, their economy continues to collapse - very sad for the Iranian people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2019
Trump had previously asked Iranian leaders to call him, in a line that marked a clear shift, at least rhetorically, from the administration’s tough approach to Iran, which has included moving some of America’s most formidable military weapons, an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, to the Middle East.
The United Nations voiced concern on Monday about increasingly bellicose rhetoric between the United States and Iran and called on them to dial down their remarks. The appeal came after President Donald Trump on Sunday warned that any attack from Iran would be met with a devastating US response that would mean “the official end of Iran.”
“We are concerned about the rising rhetoric,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who cited the firing of a rocket on Sunday, which struck a Baghdad area that houses foreign embassies including that of the US, as being “also a concern.”
“We would ask all parties to lower the rhetoric and lower the threshold of action as well,” said the spokesman.
(With AFP inputs).
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