U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said President Donald Trump is willing to meet with the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani “with no pre-condition”.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Pompeo defended Trump’s decision to pull out of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and insisted that since that decision and the reimposition of U.S. sanctions Iran’s capability to support proxies has declined. “The terror attacks around the world increased under the JCPOA”, Pompeo said referring to the nuclear agreement.
Pompeo also repeated a Trump administration line of argument targeting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, by reiterating that “it’s up to the Ayatollah to make the decision about the direction he wants to take his country”.
French President Emmanuel Macron held a series of telephone discussion with Rouhani in July and August trying to broker a partial agreement that would reduce tensions and pave the way for a possible Trump-Rouhani meeting. But his efforts have not resulted in a breakthrough so far.
Initially, Rouhani seemed to be open to the suggestion of a meeting but Khamenei and his hardliner supporters have put pressure on Rouhani not to negotiate with the United States.