Trump says Iran will decide whether to meet: ‘Doesn't matter' to me

World       by Haider Ali | Published

Worldwide sanctions were lifted under the pact between world powers and Tehran in return for curbs on Iran's nuclear programme. Iran and other signatories, including China, have been trying to salvage the deal.

Trump's offer came after he tore up Iran's 2015 nuclear agreement in May, setting the stage for severe USA sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Key Trump administration figures, including national security advisor John Bolton, have called for regime change in the past, although the official line is that Washington only wants a change in its "behaviour".

US President Donald Trump told White House reporters on Monday that he is willing to meet Iranian leaders "any time they want". "They have got to behave like a normal country", he said, describing Iranian leaders as "bad actors".

But Iran did not appear interested in drawing attention to them. "That's the behavioral change that we're looking for from the Iranian regime". The sanctions targeting Iran's oil industry could cut off a crucial source of hard currency.

The U.S. military's Central Command on Wednesday confirmed it has seen an increase in Iranian naval activity, including in the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic waterway that Iran's Revolutionary Guards have threatened to block.

More news: Kohli holds firm in 1st Test thriller after Curran revives England

"The problem is: What next?" one of the European diplomats said, referring to concerns that the U.S.is eyeing regime change as the sanctions' end goal.

Sporadic protests broke out in several cities in Iran for a fifth night on Saturday, a day after demonstrators attacked a Shiite seminary, according to Iranian news agencies and social media.

US sanctions targeting Iranian trade in automobiles, gold and other key metals will be re-imposed on Monday, while sanctions targeting the country's energy and banking sector will resume November 4.

After the official statement, the US President signed the Memorandum on the resumption of sanctions against Iran.

The U.S. State Department said on its Persian-language Twitter account: "While it is ultimately up to the #people_of_Iran to determine their country's path, #America supports the voice of the Iranian people, which has been ignored for a long time". "If anybody's inciting anything, look no further than to Iran", press secretary Sarah Sanders said and added that President Trump has been "very clear about what he's not going to allow to take place". Authorities reported the first fatality among protesters, with the shooting of a man in Karaj, west of Tehran.

USA officials last week said Iran carried out a similar exercise, though Tehran did not immediately acknowledge it.

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