Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his advisors are likely scrambling over what strategy to agree on, if any, in response to President Trump's unexpected and unprecedented Monday offer of "no preconditions" talks with Rouhani.
An official response to Trump's surprise words — “I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet. I don’t know if they’re ready yet” — issued at a White House press conference was not immediately forthcoming afterward or throughout the day Tuesday.
However, while Tehran's top leadership has kept mum on what it might be thinking, lawmakers in Iran's parliament didn't hold back Tuesday, with the deputy speaker of parliament declaring "it would be a humiliation" for Iran's leaders to sit down with Trump.
According to the AFP-associated Iranian affairs journal Bourse & Bazaar:
Skepticism was rife in Iran on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump offered talks, with one lawmaker saying negotiations would be a "humiliation."
The country's top leaders did not give an immediate response to Trump's statement a day earlier that he would meet them "any time" without preconditions.
But several public figures said it was impossible to imagine negotiations with Washington after it tore up the 2015 nuclear deal in May.
Iran's semi-official Fars News which typically reflects a more Islamic conservative angle, quoted Ali Motahari, the deputy speaker of parliament, as follows on Tuesday: "With the contemptuous statements (Trump) addressed to Iran, the idea of negotiating is inconceivable. It would be a humiliation."
The same report cited Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli, who slammed Trump's statement, saying "America is not trustworthy," and questioning, "After it arrogantly and unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear agreement, how can it be trusted?"
One Iranian government advisor and University of Tehran professor, Mohammad Marandi, who helped negotiate the 2015 nuclear deal, said, "We cannot negotiate with someone who violates international commitments, threatens to destroy countries, and constantly changes his position," according to Bourse & Bazaar.
.@POTUS on Iran: "I'm ready to meet anytime that they want to and I don't do that from strength or from weakness. I think it's an appropriate thing to do... No preconditions. If they want to meet, I'll meet." pic.twitter.com/ThZ5euybm3
A new round of US sanctions are set to hit Iran starting August 6. Both current sanctions and news of the impending regimen have already contributed to an economy in severe downward spiral.
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