Caution and doubt in Iran as Trump offers direct dialogue

Al-Monitor – “It’s good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world. No preconditions. If they want to meet, I’ll meet,” US President Donald Trump said at a press briefing July 30. Only hours later, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appeared on CNBC, where he set conditions for such talks, saying, “We’ve said this before. … If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes … then the president said he’s prepared to sit down and have the conversation with them.”

In Iran, Trump’s offer was mostly received with either caution or doubt. Among the first to react was Hamid Aboutalebi, a top adviser to President Hassan Rouhani. “Respect for the Iranian nation, reducing hostilities and a US return to the nuclear deal could pave the existing bumpy road. … The nuclear deal was a fruit of commitment to dialogue [and this] has to be accepted,” he posted on Twitter.

Late July 31, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Mohammad Ali Jafari, made clear his dismissal of the move in a public statement. “Mr. Trump! Iran is not North Korea to accept your offer for a meeting,” Jafari said. “You will take to the grave your wish that officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran will ask for a meeting with you or [for our officials] to obtain permission to meet with you from their nation. You will never see this day.” He added, “Even US presidents after you will not see that day.”

Read more here