US official: We're 'sitting by the phone' waiting for Iran
Saturday 18/May/2019 - 11:38 AM
US AND IRAN FLAGS
The United States is "sitting by the phone" but has heard no message yet from Iran that it is willing to accept President Donald Trump's overtures for direct talks، a senior Trump administration official said on Friday، according to Reuters.
"We think they should de-escalate and come to negotiations،" the official، who declined to be identified، told a small group of reporters.
Last week it was reported that after Trump publicly appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions with Tehran، the White House contacted the Swiss to share the phone number.
Iran، however، rejected the overture، with Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi saying، “The solution does not lie in the mediations or the phone call and the US has our phone numbers too.”
Last Thursday، Trump urged the Iranian regime to agree to talks with the US aimed at ending its nuclear program while also hinting that the US could use military force against Iran.
Asked if there were any indications from the Iranians that they were ready to engage، the official said Friday، "Not yet. We're sitting by the phone."
Tensions between the two countries has increased in recent days after the US military deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Middle East in a move meant to counter “clear indications” of threats from Iran to American forces in the region.
The deputy leader of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps’ political bureau later stressed that Iran will not engage in talks with the US and added that the United States would never “dare” to attack the Islamic Republic.