President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE said Saturday that the decision on whether he will meet with Iranian leaders is “up to them,” stating that “it doesn’t matter.”
“Iran, and it’s [sic] economy, is going very bad, and fast! I will meet, or not meet, it doesn’t matter - it is up to them!” the president tweeted as he traveled to a rally in Ohio.
Iran, and it’s economy, is going very bad, and fast! I will meet, or not meet, it doesn’t matter - it is up to them!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2018
Trump made the statement ahead of U.S. sanctions against Iran, which are set to go into effect on Monday. The sanctions follow the president's decision earlier this year to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
CBS reported that Iranians have held protests across the country ahead of the new sanctions and as the nation’s currency plummets, blaming Iran’s leaders for the economic situation.
Trump said last week that he would be willing to meet with Iranian leaders “without preconditions," calling it "good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world."
Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoPoll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability Majority of voters disapprove of execution of Afghanistan withdrawal: poll Sunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant MORE hedged Trump’s statement just hours later, setting specific conditions for such a meeting.
“If the Iranians demonstrate a commitment to make fundamental changes in how they treat their own people, reduce their malign behavior, can agree that it's worthwhile to enter into a nuclear agreement that actually prevents proliferation, then the president said he's prepared to sit down and have the conversation with them,” Pompeo said.
The president also issued an all-caps threat to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani last month, warning him not to threaten the U.S. or “YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.”
To Iranian President Rouhani: 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018
He appeared to be responding to Rouhani saying that a war with Iran is “the mother of all wars.”