Iran sets preconditions for Trump meeting

TEHRAN: In an initial reaction to US President Donald Trump’s suggestion that he is willing to meet Iranian leaders at any time and without preconditions, an official from the Islamic Republic on Tuesday outlined two prior requirements. First, Trump would have to take back the US withdrawal from the internationally backed deal with Iran on its nuclear weapons programme, and second, he would also have to suspend new sanctions against Tehran before any talks, said Hamid Abutalebi, an adviser to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, on Twitter. “Back to the nuclear deal, an end to hostile words, and respect for the Iranian people… then one could pave the way out of the current dilemma,” the presidential adviser tweeted in Farsi. Trump’s announcement of a willingness to meet follows days of sabre-rattling between the two camps through the media and via Twitter, and as the US prepares to step up sanctions against Iran. “I think it is the appropriate thing to do,” Trump said on Monday at the White House as he hosted Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.