Trump stated on Sunday he was not seeking battle with Tehran after a senior Iranian army commander threatened any struggle in the Gulf region could spread uncontrollably and take the lives of US troops.
Tensions remain high between longtime foes Iran and America after Trump mentioned on Friday that he called off an army strike to retaliate for Iran’s shooting down of an unmanned US spy drone out of concern it might have been a disproportionate response.
“I am not looking for conflict,” Trump said in Meet the Press program.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reverted to reporters on Sunday that Washington sought talks with Tehran.
“We’re prepared to barter with no preconditions,” he said. “They know precisely how one can find us. I’m assured that at the very moment they’re prepared to engage with us we’ll be able to start these conversations. I am waiting for that day.”
Pompeo further mentioned that “important” sanctions on Iran to be introduced on Monday would be geared toward further contracting resources that Tehran makes use of to fund its actions in the region.
“We’re going to deny them the resources they need to do that, thereby holding American interests and American people safe all over the world,” Pompeo said before leaving to travel for talks on Iran with US partners Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Tehran’s regional rivals.
Trump has shown that he would also be prepared to reach a deal to support Iran’s weakening economic system, an apparent move to defuse tensions.
Iran played down the effect of any new US sanctions. They were “simply propaganda, as all sanctions … have been forced and there aren’t any more sanctions left,” state-run news company IRIB quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi as saying.