Iran’s foreign minister appears unimpressed with Japan’s offer to mediate in a crisis between Tehran and Washington, and says President Donald Trump should make his intentions clear about any talks with Iran through actions, not words.
Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a late Monday tweet: “Actions—not words—will show whether or not that’s Donald Trump’s intent.”
Trump said Monday in Japan that he’d back Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s efforts to open a communication with Iran. Trump said: “I do believe Iran would like to talk and if they’d like to talk, we’ll talk also.”
Zarif in his tweet also blamed Trump’s economic pressure on Iran for the regional tensions.
Iran has said it has no interest in negotiations with Washington following Trump’s pullout from the nuclear deal and re-imposing sanctions on Iran.
No prospect for negotiations
Iran sees no prospect of negotiations with the United States, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Tuesday, a day after US President Donald Trump said a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program was possible.
Washington withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran, and is ratcheting up sanctions in efforts to strangle Iran’s economy by ending its international sales of crude oil.
Trump said on Monday: “I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that’s very smart of them, and I think that’s a possibility to happen.”
Asked about Trump’s comments in a news conference in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency: “We currently see no prospect of negotiations with America.”
“Iran pays no attention to words; what matters to us is a change of approach and behavior.”
Trump also said that United States was not looking for regime change in Iran, adding that “we are looking for no nuclear weapons.”
Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri said on Tuesday the country was not allowed to pursue the development of nuclear weapon as this was banned by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s highest authority.
Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States since Washington deployed a carrier strike group and bombers and announced plans to deploy 1,500 troops to the Middle East, prompting fears of a conflict.