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Washington, Tehran signal willingness to talk; sanctions, nuclear program at issue

“We will work with them in any way we can, but they can’t have a nuclear weapon,” said U.S. President Donald Trump. “They can’t be testing ballistic missiles.”

U.S. President Donald Trump. Credit: Screenshot.
U.S. President Donald Trump. Credit: Screenshot.

The Trump administration has signaled a willingness to negotiate with Iran, which has said lately that it’s willing to talk only if U.S. sanctions on Tehran are lifted.

“We will work with them in any way we can, but they can’t have a nuclear weapon,” said U.S. President Donald Trump during a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “They can’t be testing ballistic missiles.”

The United States withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in May 2018, reimposing sanctions lifted under it, in addition to enacting new financial penalties on the regime.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo echoed Trump’s words:“Iranians, for the first time, are saying they are willing to negotiate their missile program.”

However, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in an NBC News interview broadcasted on Monday, “Once those sanctions are lifted, then … the room for negotiation is wide open.”

“It is the United States that left the bargaining table,” he added. “And they’re always welcome to return.”

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