US President Donald Trump has
suggested he was open to a new comprehensive deal with Iran, saying
that till then the toughest-ever sanctions on the Middle-East country that
kicks off on Monday would continue.
"The United States remains open to reaching
a new, more comprehensive deal with Iran that forever blocks its path to a
nuclear weapon, addresses the entire range of its malign actions, and is worthy
of the Iranian people," Trump said in a presidential statement late Friday
"Until then, our historic
sanctions will remain in full force," he said, hours after his two Cabinet
members, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin,
announced that the US would reimpose a series of crippling sanctions on Iran
In his presidential statement, Trump called on
the regime to abandon its nuclear ambitions, change its "destructive
behaviour", respect the rights of its people, and return in good faith to
the negotiating table.
It was in May, Trump had announced that the US
had withdrawn from what he described as "the horrible, one-sided"
Iran nuclear deal.
"On Monday, November 5, the termination of
United States participation in the Iran nuclear deal will be complete. The last
set of sanctions lifted under the terrible nuclear deal will come back into
force, including powerful sanctions on Iran's energy, shipping, and
shipbuilding sectors, and sanctions targeting transactions with the Central
Bank of Iran and sanctioned Iranian banks," the president said.
"Our objective is to force the regime into
a clear choice: either abandon its destructive behaviour or continue down the
path toward economic disaster," he added.
Later a senior State Department official told
reporters that the US was ready for talks with Iran.
"Secretary Pompeo has been very clear that
we have an ear open to what is possible. We very much want to begin work on a
new and better deal to replace the insufficient Iran nuclear deal that the
president left in May, and our campaign of maximum economic pressure is a
critical tactic to achieve that goal," Special Representative for Iran
Brian Hook said.