Published On: Fri, Sep 6th, 2019

Iran v US: Tehran ‘inching toward talks’ after Trump leaves door open on nuclear weapons | World | News

US Defence Secretary Mark Esper said Iran was “inching toward” being open to talks days after US President Donald Trump suggested a meeting between both sides should take place at the upcoming UN General Assembly in New York. Mr Esper said: “It seems in some ways that Iran is inching toward that place where we could have talks and hopefully it’ll play out that way.” When asked about Iran’s decision to start developing uranium enrichment, Mr Esper said: “We continue to believe that we need to be enforcing our sanctions to the maximum extent possible.

Germany, one of the deal’s signatories, echoed his remarks and reiterated for Iran to change course.

A German Foreign Ministry spokesman said: “We urge Iran not to aggravate the situation further.

“It is not too late for Iran to leave the wrong path it has gone down.”

His remarks come at a time of dangerous tensions between two sides following the US pulling out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Iran remains on a collision course with the West after refusing to give into demands over the controversial 2015 nuclear deal.

Tehran has also accelerated tensions with US after refusing to negotiate the transfer of an Iranian tanker.

Iran had vowed to further breach terms of the nuclear deal from today.

The deal signed by major world nations including the UK, Russia and France aims to curb Iran’s nuclear capabilities in return for sanction relief.

READ MORE: Macron risks infuriating Trump as he offers Tehran $15billion

The British Foreign office has called Iran’s decision to speed up its levels of uranium enrichment “deeply concerning”.

The Foreign Office said in a statement: “Iran’s plan to suspend limits on nuclear research and development is deeply concerning.

“This third step away from its commitments under the nuclear deal is particularly disappointing at a time when we and our European and international partners are working hard to de-escalate tensions with Iran.”

On Wednesday, President Trump left the door open for talks between him and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Asked about the prospect of negotiations, he said: “Sure, anything’s possible. They would like to be able to solve their problem, we could solve it in 24 hours.”

Mr Esper will meet with his French counterpart tomorrow to discuss how France’s navy can help Washington endure freedom of navigation in the volatile Strait of Hormuz.

The narrow street of water is where the UK-flagged Stena Impero was captured in July.

The crew, made up of Pakistani, Indian and Russian workers, were finally released by Iran this week.

Iran said in a statement steps have been made to downgrade commitments to the deal with other power nations.

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