Donald Trump says he's ready to talk to Iran president Hassan Rouhani

Donald Trump did not discount the chance of a US military action against Iran. (AFP)
Updated 05 June 2019

Donald Trump says he's ready to talk to Iran president Hassan Rouhani

  • US president says there is always a chance of US military action against the Iran
  • Trump is in UK where he discussed the Iran threat with Prime Minister Theresa May

LONDON: US President Donald Trump said he was prepared to talk to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani but that there was always a chance of US military action against the Islamic Republic.

“So Iran is a place that was extremely hostile when I first came into office,” Trump told British television station ITV. “They were a terrorist nation number one in the world at that time and probably maybe are today.”

When asked if he thought he would need to take military action, he said: “There’s always a chance. Do I want to? No. I’d rather not. But there’s always a chance.”

He said, when asked, that he was prepared to talk to Rouhani: “Yeah of course. I would much rather talk.”


Pope backs Iraqi call for its sovereignty to be respected

Updated 25 January 2020

Pope backs Iraqi call for its sovereignty to be respected

  • President Barham Salih held private talks for about 30 minutes with the pope and then met the Vatican’s two top diplomats
  • The recent tensions in Iraq could make it impossible for Francis to visit the country, which he has said he would like to do this year

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis met Iraq’s president on Saturday and the two agreed that the country’s sovereignty must be respected, following attacks on Iraqi territory this month by the United States and Iran.
President Barham Salih held private talks for about 30 minutes with the pope and then met the Vatican’s two top diplomats, Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin and Archbishop Paul Gallagher, its foreign minister.
The talks “focused on the challenges the country currently faces and on the importance of promoting stability and the reconstruction process, encouraging the path of dialogue and the search for suitable solutions in favor of citizens and with respect for national sovereignty,” a Vatican statement said.
On Jan. 8, Iranian forces fired missiles at two military bases in Iraq housing US troops in retaliation for Washington’s killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike a Baghdad airport on Jan. 3.
The Iraqi parliament has passed a resolution ordering the 5,000 US troops stationed in Iraq to leave the country.
Soon after the Iranian attack, Francis urged the United States and Iran to avoid escalation and pursue “dialogue and self-restraint” to avert a wider conflict in the Middle East.
The pope discussed the Middle East with US Vice President Mike Pence on Friday.
The recent tensions in Iraq could make it impossible for Francis to visit the country, which he has said he would like to do this year.
The Vatican said the pope and Salih also discussed “the importance of preserving the historical presence of Christians in the country.”
The Christian presence in Iraq and some other countries in the Middle East has been depleted by wars and conflicts.
Iraq’s several hundred thousand Christians suffered particular hardships when Daesh controlled large parts of the country, but have recovered.