Trump: 'We're not looking for regime change' in Iran

Trump: 'We're not looking for regime change' in Iran
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpWatergate prosecutor says that Sondland testimony was 'tipping point' for Trump In private moment with Trump, Justice Kennedy pushed for Kavanaugh Supreme Court nomination: book Obama: 'Everybody needs to chill out' about differences between 2020 candidates MORE on Monday sounded an optimistic note about future negotiations with Iran, saying at a press conference in Japan that he's not looking for regime change despite increasing tensions between the two countries.

"I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all. I’m looking to have Iran say, ‘no nuclear weapons,'" Trump said during a press conference in Japan.

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The president, who as recently as last weekend threatened that war would be "the official end of Iran," appeared far more welcoming to sitting down with the country's leaders. But the two sides have shown few signs of coming to the table as the U.S. readies to deploy additional troops to the region.

In making the case for a renegotiated nuclear pact with Tehran, Trump echoed the same logic that he's used to argue that North Korea will eventually give up its nuclear weapons, thus far to no avail.

"I think we’ll make a deal," Trump said Monday. "I think Iran — again, I think Iran has tremendous economic potential. And I look forward to letting them get back to the stage where they can show that.

"These are great people," he added. "It has a chance to be a great country, with the same leadership. We’re not looking for regime change. I just want to make that clear. We’re looking for no nuclear weapons."

Trump earlier Monday said he welcomed the assistance of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe trying to negotiate with Iran as a third party.