Al-Monitor | : President Donald Trump expressed a willingness to receive phone calls from Iranian authorities on May 9, an apparent move to open dialogue with Iran only one month after his administration designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a “foreign terrorist organization.” Tensions have simmered in past weeks, during which the United States deployed a Navy strike group and a bomber task force to US Central Command. According to US national security adviser John Bolton, the move was meant “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.”
Two days later, on May 8, the anniversary of the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Trump imposed a fresh set of sanctions on Iran, this time targeting the country’s industrial metals sector.
This open hostility has left many in Tehran questioning the sincerity of Trump’s offer for talks, with some interpreting it within the context of the carrot and stick policy that the United States has long pursued in its approach toward Iran. In later remarks, Trump accused former Secretary of State John Kerry of advising Iranians against responding positively to his offer for talks.
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