President Donald Trump told U.S. lawmakers in the White House on Tuesday that he spoke about Iran with the Russian President Vladimir Putin during their summit in Helsinki on July 16.
Mentioning that they had discussed Syria, Trump added, “We also spoke of Iran and the need to halt their nuclear ambitions and the destabilizing activities taking place in Iran.”
The U.S. president did not say what was Putin’s response, but in the joint press conference after the Helsinki meeting, the Russian president mentioned that he and Trump had strongly disagreed on Iran.
Trump took the occasion of his meeting with the members of Congress to once again reiterate that his tough policy had had an impact on the Islamic Republic.
“As most of you know, we ended the Iran deal, which was one of the worst deals anyone could imagine. And that’s had a major impact on Iran. And it’s substantially weakened Iran. And we hope that, at some point, Iran will call us and we’ll maybe make a new deal, or we maybe won’t.”
Last week, Trump had also said, “at a certain point they're going to call me and say, 'let's make a deal,' and we'll make a deal." But on the same day of the summit, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman responded to this earlier remark saying if Trump wants a deal he’ll have to make the call.
Trump also told lawmakers that Iran is feeling pressure from the looming U.S. sanctions, an argument, the White House has been using more frequently in recent days.
“They’re no longer looking so much to the Mediterranean and the entire Middle East. They’ve got some big problems that they can solve, probably much easier if they deal with us. So we’ll see what happens, Trump said.”