US President Donald Trump has stated during his talks with French President Emmanuel Macron that Iran was "a true state of terror" and claimed that the Islamic Republic was failing as a country, but at the same time assured that it might change.
Pentagon officials believe Iran was behind recent attacks on oil tankers, a Saudi oil pipeline and the Green Zone diplomatic compound in Bagdhad, though the USA hasn't published evidence for the claims. Brian Hook, the State Department's point man on Iran, has been sending contradictory signals on the issue of oil exemptions, which suggests that the administration is unclear about its next Iran steps.
Foreign Minister Taro Kono will also travel to Iran for talks with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, prior to Abe's arrival, according to a Japanese government source. However, Iran's pragmatist President Hassan Rouhani has signaled Iran's willingness to hold talks if the US showed its respect and returned to the nuclear accord. This mission offers both opportunities and risks for Abe, who may wish to play a more prominent conflict-management role beyond Iran if successful in this Iran trip.
"It's very clear Iran is lying", Netanyahu told former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) leader Olli Heinonen, per the report. Iranian leaders have vowed to retaliate for any US military action.
In May, Iran said it will keep more enriched uranium than allowed under the nuclear accord and set a 60-day deadline to negotiate new terms.
Trump has condemned the nuclear deal between Iran and global powers signed by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
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May said the United Kingdom, which is part of EU efforts to protect European trade with the Islamic Republic after the USA reimposed economic sanctions, still stands by the nuclear deal. This means Iran expects unfettered trade in the face of US sanctions.
Khamenei, in a nationally televised speech on Tuesday, dismissed other recent comments by Trump suggesting an openness to talks, saying the US leader would not "deceive" Iran with a "cunning political ploy".
"Do I want to? No".
Rouhani previously signalled his readiness to start a dialogue with the U.S., provided that Washington shows respect and follows worldwide rules.