Iran signals willingness to re-establish dialogue with U.S., yet unwilling to change its activities

The Iranian leadership has signaled to the United States that it may be willing to conduct a bilateral meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and President Donald Trump. According to foreign sources cited by Tehran’s main news agency IRNA, the message is aimed at seeking a solution to the deteriorating relations between the two countries. The report, however, contradicts a statement made by the Iranian president during a military parade of the Islamic Republic, commemorating the Iran-Iraq war. According to President Rouhani, “Iran will not abandon its defensive weapons, or reduce our defensive capabilities. Rather, we will increase our defensive strength day by day. Because you (the U.S.) are angry at our missiles, it means that our most influential weapons are our missiles, so due to your words we appreciate the value of our missiles more than ever before. You are asking us not to have a presence in the region (Middle East), it is you who have come from thousands of kilometres to this region, to do what?” In response to the reported Iranian aspiration to commence in talks with Washington, in an exclusive interview with NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underlined that President Donald Trump is willing to meet “at any time,” although Iran did not indicate any intention to change its malign activities. Pompeo believes that “the president has been pretty clear about that. He’s happy to talk to talk with folks at any time.” / “We’ll have to see. It doesn’t seem likely. Their behavior wouldn’t indicate any intention to change the fundamental challenge that Iran presents to the world.” The comments came as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley dismissed Iran’s assertion, that Washington and its Gulf allies were to blame for the deadly attack on its military parade, on Saturday. The attack claimed the lives of 25 Iranians and was defined as one of the worst attacks against the Revolutionary Guards – the sword and shield of the Shi’ite clerical rule since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.