U.S. President Donald Trump says Iranian leaders must "change their tune" before any bilateral talks but he looks forward to having a great relationship in the future.
Trump spoke to reporters shortly before he addressed world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the Trump administration is “working to get Iran to behave like a normal nation“ and “stop being the world’s largest state sponsor of terror.“
U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley regularly castigates Tehran for its destabilizing role in Syria and Yemen and its support for militant groups Hamas and Hezbollah.
Earlier this year, Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the Obama-era 2015 deal to end Iran’s nuclear weapons program and re-imposing unilateral sanctions on Tehran. In November, companies doing business with Iran will have to stop or risk being shut out of the U.S. financial system. Washington wants to pressure Tehran back to the negotiating table for a new, broader deal.
The United States also happens to hold the rotating presidency of the U.N. Security Council this month and is using the opportunity for Trump to chair a meeting Wednesday on nonproliferation. Expect him to talk a lot about Iran.
While Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is also attending this week's General Assembly, a meeting between the two leaders is highly unlikely. Trump said on Twitter Tuesday that "Despite requests, I have no plans to meet Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Maybe someday in the future. I am sure he is an absolutely lovely man!"
Rouhani is expected to counter any criticism from Trump during his own address to the assembly hours after Trump's speech, and at a news conference on Wednesday.