Iranian official: Trump 'holding a gun' while pursuing talks

Iranian official: Trump 'holding a gun' while pursuing talks
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A top Iranian official has reportedly accused the U.S. of “holding a gun” at Tehran while calling for negotiations. 

“The actions of American leaders in exerting pressure and launching sanctions ... while speaking of talks, is like holding a gun at someone and asking for friendship and negotiations,” Rasoul Sanai-Rad, a political deputy of the armed forces command, told the semi-official news agency Mehr on Friday, according to Reuters.

“The behavior of American leaders is a political game which consists of threats and pressure while showing a willingness to negotiate in order to present a peaceful image of themselves and fool public opinion,” Sanai-Rad added.

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Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said this week that his country would not engage in talks on another nuclear agreement with the U.S., saying such talks would be "poison." 

The White House, meanwhile, has delivered mixed messages on Iran this week. President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump says 'Failing New York Times' should be held 'fully accountable' over Russia report Trump tweets ICE will begin removing 'millions' of undocumented migrants MORE dismissed a report that he was preparing to deploy 120,000 troops to the Middle East, but said he would send more than that if it became necessary. He has also said multiple times that he does not want to go to war with Iran. 

The Washington Post reported Thursday that Trump was frustrated with his top advisers, including national security adviser John BoltonJohn Robert BoltonTensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat The Hill's Morning Report - Is US weighing military action against Iran? MORE and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoU.S. releases new photos purporting to show Iran was behind tanker attack U.S. releases new photos purporting to show Iran was behind tanker attack Tensions with Iran reach new stage over uranium threat MORE, over their aggressive stances with Iran and wanted to speak to officials in Tehran himself.

Congressional leaders on Thursday received a confidential Iran briefing.