U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that it appeared Iran was inching toward a place where talks could be held, days after U.S. President Donald Trump left the door open to a possible meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, APA reports citing Reuters.
“It seems in some ways that Iran is inching toward that place where we could have talks and hopefully it’ll play out that way,” Esper said at the Royal United Services Institute think-tank in London.
Asked at a press conference later what he was basing his comments on, Esper said it was “in light of some of the comments made by the Iranians in the wake of the G7. Inching is subtle movements and I think that’s a good thing.”
Note that friction between the two countries has deepened since Trump last year withdrew from a 2015 international accord under which Iran had agreed to rein in its atomic program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. Washington has renewed and intensified its sanctions, slashing Iran’s crude oil sales by more than 80%.