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3-min read

No Precondition for Talks with Iran, Says Donald Trump

'Here it is. Look, you can't have nuclear weapons. And if you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise you can live in a shattered economy for a long time to come,' Donald Trump said.

PTI

Updated:June 23, 2019, 11:19 PM IST
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No Precondition for Talks with Iran, Says Donald Trump
File photo of US President Donald Trump. (AP)
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Washington: US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that there is no precondition for talks with Iran except that he would not allow it to acquire nuclear weapons.

Trump, after coming to power, has withdrawn from the Iranian nuclear deal and imposed sanctions on Tehran, which requires countries like India to stop purchasing oil from Iran.

"Not as far as I'm concerned. No preconditions," Trump told NBC's 'Meet the Press' when asked if he has any preconditions for talks with Iran.

"You'll talk anywhere?" asked Chuck Todd during the interview.

"Here it is. Look, you can't have nuclear weapons. And if you want to talk about it, good. Otherwise you can live in a shattered economy for a long time to come," Trump said.

The President said that he is surrounded by two groups of people hawks and doves.

"I have some hawks. Yeah, (National Security Advisor) John Bolton is absolutely a hawk. If it was up to him he'd take on the whole world at one time, okay? But that doesn't matter because I want both sides... I was against going into Iraq for years and years.

"And before it ever happened I was against going into Iraq. And some people said, 'Oh I don't know'. I was totally against and I was a private citizen. It never made sense to me. I was against going into the Middle East. We've spent USD 7 trillion in the Middle East right now," Trump said.

He said the US was on the verge of attacking Iran in retaliation of them allegedly shooting an unmanned drones in the Middle East. But he withdrew his permission half an hour before.

"They came and they said, 'Sir, we're ready to go. We'd like a decision'. I said, 'I want to know something before you go. How many people will be killed, in this case Iranians? They said 'Sir, approximately 150'. And I thought about it for a second and said, 'You know what? They shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it. And here we are sitting with 150 dead people that would have taken place probably within a half an hour after I said go ahead'. And I didn't think it was proportionate," Trump said.

The US has already imposed massive sanctions on Iran.

"We're increasing the sanctions now. But the response is always going to be very strong. I built up a lot of capital. I've had a lot of people that aren't Trump fans saying, 'I can't believe'. You know, a lot of them said, 'We're going to be in World War III the first week'. Didn't work out that way. We're doing great in North Korea. We're doing great in a lot of different places.

We knocked out the caliphate in Syria. We knocked out 100 per cent," Trump claimed.

He said that he was ready to negotiate with the Iranians.

"I think they want to negotiate. And I think they want to make a deal. And my deal is clear. Look, they're not going to have a nuclear weapon," he said.

"This isn't about the Straits. Do you know that China gets 91 per cent of its oil from the straits? We don't even need the straits. We have, we are now, because of -- since I came in, we're the number one energy producer in the world. Actually by far.

"And if I get the pipelines approved through the environmental process, which I will in Texas, we'll go up by another 25 per cent. But we're way ahead of Russia, we're way ahead of Saudi Arabia. And I think that they want to negotiate. I don't think they like the position they're in. Their economy absolutely broken," the President said.

Trump refuted reports that he ever sent a letter to the Iranian leaders.

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