On July 16, President Donald Trump warned Iran’s leaders that “they can’t be testing ballistic missiles,” since they are also potentially vehicles for carrying nuclear bombs.
The president issued this message in response to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, who raised the idea of talks about its missile program, according to VOA.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo referred to Zarif’s proposal. “For the first time, the Iranians have said that they are prepared to negotiate about their missile program. We will have this opportunity, I hope, if we continue to execute our strategy appropriately… to negotiate a deal that will actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon in the same way that the previous agreement had no chance of actually doing,” he said.
A lot of progress has been made according to President Trump
“A lot of progress has been made. And if they’d like to talk, we’ll see what happens. But a lot of progress has been made,” President Trump said at a White House Cabinet meeting on July 16 with regard to resolving the confrontation with Iran.
He also made a conciliatory comment to Iran saying, “We want to help them, we’ll be good to them, we’ll work with them, we’ll help them in any way we can, but they can’t have a nuclear weapon,” according to VOA.
In the same vein, he denied that Washington seeks “regime change” against Iran’s Islamist rulers, who have led the nation since a 1979 revolution.
Tensions have increased since the president abandoned the 2015 nuclear agreement last year.
President Trump said Iran’s nuclear pact agreed to under his predecessor, Barack Obama, was too weak to prevent Tehran from developing atomic bombs.
Also, in a U.N. Security Council resolution it called upon Iran to refrain from testing missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads.
It also offered Tehran relief from international sanctions in exchange for limiting its nuclear program, which Western powers fear could be used to make bombs.
Tehran has long said that its nuclear ambitions are peaceful and that its missiles are defensive in nature.
On the other hand, it is argued that many countries with nuclear power develop peaceful objectives without the need to enrich uranium.
“If you look around the world at all the countries that have nuclear power, half of them do not enrich [uranium]. Iran does not need to enrich uranium to have peaceful nuclear power,” President Trump’s special representative to Iran, Brian Hook, said, according to VOA.