Senior Iranian officials have angrily rejected US President Donald Trump’s offer of talks as worthless and “a humiliation” after his decision to reimpose sanctions on Tehran following his withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal.
Separately, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Mr Trump’s repudiation of the accord reached in 2015 was “illegal” and Iran would not easily yield to Washington’s renewed campaign to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.
The head of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards also dismissed Trump’s tentative offer of talks, saying the Islamic Republic was “not North Korea”.
In May, Mr Trump pulled the US out of the multilateral deal concluded before he took office, denouncing it as one-sided in Iran’s favour.
On Monday, he declared that he would be willing to meet Mr Rouhani without preconditions to discuss how to improve relations saying: “If they want to meet, we’ll meet.”
But Iran’s foreign ministry responded bu saying Mr Trump’s offer contradicted his sanctions on Iran.
“How can Trump prove to the Iranian nation that his comments of last night reflect a true intention for negotiation and have not been expressed for populist gains?” foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Qasemi was quoted by Fars news agency on Tuesday.
The head of Iran’s Strategic Council on Foreign Relations said Tehran also saw no value in Mr Trump’s offer of talks.
“Based on our bad experiences in negotiations with America and based on US officials’ violation of their commitments, it is natural that we see no value in his proposal,” Kamal Kharrazi was quoted by thel Fars news agency.
Moderate Ali Motahari, the parliamentary deputy speaker, said that to negotiate with Mr Trump now “would be a humiliation”.
And the interior minister added that Tehran did not trust Washington.
“The United States is not trustworthy. How can we trust this country when it withdraws unilaterally from the nuclear deal?” Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said.
Meanwhile, The head of the Revolutionary Guard, Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, insisted Iran would not be forced into meeting Mr Trump, as North Korea had.
“Mr Trump! Iran is not North Korea to accept your offer for a meeting,” Ali Jafari was quoted by Fars News agency.
“Even US presidents after you will not see that day.”
Asked at a White House news conference Tuesday whether he was willing to meet with Mr Rouhani, Mr Trump said: “I’d meet with anybody. I believe in meetings”, especially in cases where war is at stake.
His apparent olive brance came after an angry July 22 tweet in which the US President warned Mr Rouhani to: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence & death. Be cautious!”
A few hours earlier, Mr Rouhani had addressed Mr Trump in a speech, saying that hostile US policies could lead to “the mother of all wars”.