Donald Trump has said a deal with Iran on the country’s nuclear programme is possible, amid heightened tensions between the two countries.
Speaking a few days after the US deployed an extra 1,500 troops to the Middle East, the US president said he believes Iran “would like to talk” and “nobody wants to see terrible things happen, especially me”.
Mr Trump was speaking following talks in Japan with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who he said was “very close with the leadership of Iran”.
On possible discussions with Tehran, Mr Trump said: “I do believe Iran would like to talk and if they’d like to talk, we’ll talk also.”
“I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that’s very smart of them, and I think that’s a possibility to happen,” he said.
“It has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership,” he added.
“We aren’t looking for regime change – I just want to make that clear. We are looking for no nuclear weapons.”
The US last year pulled out of a 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran negotiated by the Obama administration. Mr Trump has imposed new sanctions on Iran, which are crippling its economy.
On a different topic, the US president said he was unconcerned by short-range missile tests conducted by North Korea earlier this month.
His national security adviser, John Bolton, said the tests violated UN Security Council resolutions and that sanctions on Pyongyang should continue.
In reply, North Korea called Bolton a “war monger” and a “defective human product.”
On the subject of a US trade agreement with China, Mr Trump said his country was “not ready to make a deal”, but predicted a “very good deal with China sometime into the future”.
Mr Trump and Mr Abe agreed to cooperate on space exploration. Mr Trump said the US and Japan would be “going to the moon and Mars very soon”, adding that “from a military standpoint, there is nothing more important right now than space”.
In addition to meeting Mr Abe and his wife Akie, Mr Trump and his wife Melania also met Japan’s new emperor and empress, Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako.
Source: SKY NEWS