Trump: Iran wants to meet

US President tells reporters he believes that Iran's leadership wants a meeting.

Elad Benari ,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he believes that Iran's leadership wants a meeting.

"I can tell you that Iran wants to meet," he told reporters at the White House, according to AFP.

The comments come amid speculations that Trump is trying to arrange a summit with his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, at the upcoming UN General Assembly.

The US and Iran have been at loggerheads since May of last year, when Trump unilaterally withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran world powers and began reimposing sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Iran responded by scaling back its commitments to the deal, which gave it the promise of sanctions relief in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Trump recently expressed an openness to meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, though the Iranian President made clear that he will not meet Trump unless all sanctions against Tehran are unilaterally lifted by the US.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that Trump could meet Rouhani with “no preconditions”, but he also stressed the US would be “maintaining the maximum pressure campaign” on the Islamic Republic.

On Wednesday, Rouhani blasted the Trump administration saying "the Americans must understand that bellicosity and warmongering don't work in their favor. Both... must be abandoned."

Israel has expressed concern over a possible meeting between Trump and Rouhani, though Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week stressed, “I'm not telling the US President when and who to meet.”