Trump says he wants conversation with Iran’s Rouhani to avoid war
‘I’d much rather talk’: Trump says he wants conversation with Iran’s Rouhani to avoid war – as he reveals ‘tremendous responsibility’ of having control of nuclear button
- Trump said on Good Morning Britain he would talk to President Hassan Rouhani
- Tensions between the US and Iran have been at an all time high in recent months
- White House sent ships and planes to the Gulf last month after ‘credible threat’
Donald Trump declared his intention to seek a peaceful solution to the Iran crisis, but said he is ‘prepared to handle the responsibility’ of pressing the red button if he has to.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday, the President said he intends to hold discussions with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to deescalate tensions between Iran and the US.
Asked by interviewer Piers Morgan what the current state of Iran-US relations are, Trump said both parties were interested in a meeting to resolve their differences.
In recent weeks, tensions have soared as the U.S. beefed up its military presence in the Persian Gulf in response to an unexplained threat from Iran.
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Trump told Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain he was prepared to talk with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
‘Will you talk with Rouhani? Would you jaw jaw with him?’ Morgan asked.
‘You’re talking about talk? Yeah, of course. I would much rather talk. I’ve said that and he’s said that.
‘I know so much about nuclear weapons – don’t forget that I’m the one that gets trained and has to study this – and I see the horrible damage done. I don’t want that.’
Trump said relations with the Middle Eastern nation had improved since he came to power in 2016, and that Obama had allowed the state to become a ‘terrorist nation’ during his time in the White House.
‘Iran was a place that was very hostile when I came into office. They were a terrorist nation,’ he said.
‘Obama did a terrible deal because it was a short-term deal. We paid with more than $150billion in cash.’
‘I terminated the deal and Iran is a very different country today.’
Asked by Morgan whether he was planning on going to war with Iran, the President said: ‘I don’t want to but there is always a chance.’
Trump and Melania disembark Marine One after arriving at Southsea Castle, ahead of an event to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings today
The President was also asked about the possibility of using the ‘red button’ and using nuclear weapons against Iran.
He called the prospect of pushing the button a ‘terrible responsibility’ but said there ‘may be a time when he has to think about it’.
‘I think it’s a terrible responsibility but one I’m prepared to handle,’ he said.
‘I don’t want to have to think about it, but there may be a time when I do have to think about it.’
Tehran has threatened to restart its nuclear programme after the Trump administration backed out of the nuclear deal signed with the Obama White House.
Trump has previously warned that Tehran would ‘suffer greatly’ if it enraged Washington, predicting a ‘bad problem for Iran if something happens’.
Following attacks on trade ships in the Gulf last month, the US said it had detected a ‘credible threat’ by Iran and deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf, raising fears of a direct conflict.
The US also has accused Iran of being behind a string of incidents, including the alleged sabotage of oil tankers near the UAE coast and a rocket that landed near the US Embassy in Baghdad.
While Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels have launched a string of drone attacks targeting Saudi Arabia.
Iran, meanwhile, has announced it was backing away from the 2015 nuclear deal, which saw it limits its enrichment of uranium in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
Trump withdrew the US from the accord as he believes it didn’t go far enough in limiting the Iranian nuclear program, nor did it address Iran’s ballistic missile program.
Last month, the White House sent the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and bombers to counter Tehran after picking up what it called a ‘credible threat’
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