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‘Too soon’ to talk with Iran: Trump

Iran-"We will not negotiate with the United States, Trump is not worthy of a message exchange" US-"They are not ready, and neither are we!"

Iran

Anadolu |

President Donald Trump said Thursday it is “too soon” for the US to engage in nuclear talks with Iran just minutes before the country’s top diplomat blamed Tehran for attacks on two oil tankers near a critical waterway.

I do not consider Trump, as a person, deserving to exchange messages with. We will not negotiate with the United States

“While I very much appreciate P.M. Abe going to Iran to meet with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, I personally feel that it is too soon to even think about making a deal,” Trump said on Twitter, referring to Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe. “They are not ready, and neither are we!”

Japanese PM Abe’s Visit to Tehran

Abe visited Iran in a bid to ease tensions between the US and the Islamic Republic.

Following their meeting, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in remarks carried by Iranian state news agency FARS that he did not see Trump as deserving of a message from him.

“I do not consider Trump, as a person, deserving to exchange messages with. We will not negotiate with the United States,” he said, according to FARS.

Read more: Japan to be a mediator between Iran and US

Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been at a fever pitch since Trump unilaterally withdrew the US in May 2018 from an international pact aimed at reigning in Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions.

The Trump administration has since gone on to attempt to scuttle the agreement, which all other signatories – France, Russia, Germany, the UK, China, Iran and the EU – remain a party to.

Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being responsible for attacks on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz

The attempts to undermine the deal have included the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran oil exports that were lifted as part of the agreement.

That decision, in particular, drew strong condemnation from Iran amid a near-ceaseless diplomatic and economic effort the administration terms its “maximum pressure campaign” to bring Iran back to negotiations that would address its nuclear program and other regional activities the US says are destabilizing.

Also on Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused Iran of being responsible for attacks on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, describing the attacks as part of “an unacceptable campaign of escalating tension by Iran.”

The top diplomat said the US assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons that were used, the level of expertise needed to carry out the attacks, as well as other recent attacks on ships in the region the US has blamed on Iran.

Read more: Iran snubs U.S offer for talks

The strait is a vital waterway with roughly one-third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and a fifth of its oil consumption transiting through it each day.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS news desk

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