WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump signaled on Tuesday he was prepared to enter negotiations with Iran, two days after he dramatically threatened the country in an all-caps tweet.
“Iran is not the same country anymore, that I can say,” he said in a speech at the VFW National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri. “We’ll see what happens, but we’re ready to make a real deal, not the deal that was done by the previous administration — which was a disaster.”
Trump’s words indicated a shift from his intense warning against Tehran on Sunday night, in which he seemed to be reacting to a recent speech made by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” Trump tweeted to the Iranian leader.
Earlier Sunday, Rouhani gave a speech warning the US that a military confrontation with Iran would result in the “mother of all wars.” He also directly addressed Trump. “Do not play with the lion’s tail,” he said, “because you will regret it eternally.”
The threaten-and-negotiate tactic seemed to mirror that employed by Trump against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, whom the president also sparred with on Twitter before a historic summit in May.
The back-and-forth came after the Trump administration withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal forged under former President Barack Obama.
The move sets in motion a renewal of sanctions against the Islamic Republic that were removed once the landmark accord was implemented in January 2016.
Those sanctions are now set to be reimposed in November, causing more than 50 international firms to exit the Iranian market, according to State Department policy and planning director Brian Hook.
The Iran nuclear deal — which was also concluded with other world powers, including Germany, France, England, Russia, and China — still technically remains in place, as the other countries have vowed to remain a party to the accord despite America’s absence.
Iran has said it will not renegotiate the hard-won 2015 pact.