Abbas Araghchi
Abbas Araghchi Reuters

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi responded on Saturday to reports that the White House contacted Switzerland to share a phone number the Iranians could call President Donald Trump should they want to start negotiations on a new nuclear deal.

“The solution does not lie in the mediations or the phone call and the US has our phone numbers too," Araghchi said, according to Iranian media.

“Washington should reconsider its erroneous policies to emerge from a crisis it made itself. The White House lacks a harmonious and rational policy toward Iran, the region and the world,” he added.

On Friday, CNN reported that after Trump publicly appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions with Tehran, the White House contacted the Swiss to share the phone number.

"I'd like to see them call me," Trump said of the Iranians in the White House on Thursday.

A source told CNN the Swiss likely won't hand over the number unless the Iranians specifically ask for it and it's thought they are highly unlikely to do so. White House officials say Trump's overtures are sincere.

The White House did not reply to request for comment on the sharing of the number.

The US and Iran do not have an official diplomatic relationship and Switzerland serves as the protecting power for the US in the country. That means they represent US interests in Iran, performing services for US citizens in the country like visa processing. They also serve as a channel for diplomacy between the two nations though there are other mechanisms for the two nations to communicate.

In his remarks on Thursday, Trump urged the Iranian regime to agree to talks with the US aimed at ending its nuclear program – while hinting that the US could use military force against Iran.

On Friday, the deputy leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ political bureau stressed that Iran will not engage in talks with the US and added that the United States would never “dare” to attack the Islamic Republic.

“We will not negotiate. There will be no negotiations on any issue with the US and the US will not dare to attack Iran,” said the senior leader, Yadollah Javani.

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