The United States is “sitting by the phone” but has heard no message yet from Iran that it is willing to accept President Donald Trump’s overtures for direct talks, a senior Trump administration official said on Friday, according to Reuters.
“We think they should de-escalate and come to negotiations,” the official, who declined to be identified, told a small group of reporters Reuters reported on Saturday.
Last week it was reported that after Trump publicly appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions with Tehran, the White House contacted the Swiss to share the phone number.
Asked if there were any indications from the Iranians that they were ready to engage, the official said Friday, “Not yet. We’re sitting by the phone.”
Iran has repeatedly this week rejected the US’ offer for talks, with President Hasan Rouhani saying on Sunday that “the party that tries to drag us to the negotiating table has only empty claims,” referring to US, and vowing that the Islamic Republic will not surrender to “bullying behavior.”
Earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi said, “The solution does not lie in the mediations or the phone call and the US has our phone numbers too.”