US President Donald Trump on Thursday (June 6th) said it was "fine" for him if Iran wanted to hold talks, adding the Islamic Republic was currently "failing as a nation", AFP reported.
Speaking after talks in northern France with French President Emmanuel Macron, an ardent supporter of diplomacy with Iran, Trump indicated he could consider talking to Tehran.
"I understand they want to talk and if they want to talk that's fine," said Trump.
"We'll talk but the one thing that they can't have is they can't have nuclear weapons," he added.
Trump said when he came to power Iran was "undisputed champions of terror" but indicated activity had slackened in recent times.
"They're not doing that anymore. They're doing very poorly as a nation. They're failing as a nation," said Trump. "I don't want them to fail as a nation. We can turn that around very quickly but the sanctions have been extraordinary."
Although EU leaders were bitterly angered by Trump's pullout from the landmark 2015 deal on Iran's nuclear programme with Europe, the US president said he and Macron did not have differences on how to handle Iran.
Macron said the US shared the same four objectives on Iran -- to prevent it obtaining nuclear weapons, reduce its activities in ballistics, contain Iran's operations in the region and promote regional peace.
The French president said that in order to achieve such objectives "you need to start a negotiation" and applauded Trump's apparent readiness to hold talks.
"I think the words pronounced from President Trump today are very important," said Macron, speaking in English. "We need to open a new negotiation."