Washington: US President Donald Trump has said that Iran's leaders would be "selfish and stupid" if they failed to reach a new deal with Washington to replace the 2015 nuclear accord made by former President Barack Obama, which Trump abandoned.
"They have a country that's in economic distress. It's an economic disaster right now, they can solve it quickly or in 10 years from now," Trump said on Wednesday in remarks to reporters at the White House before departing for the G20 summit in Japan.
"I have all the time in the world. In the meantime, they have very strong sanctions," he added
The President said he was not sure if the Iranian leaders are concerned about their people, saying if they are they will sign an agreement directly negotiated with his administration, but if not they would be "selfish and stupid", reports Efe news.
He suggested that whether or not an agreement is reached between Tehran and Washington depends on Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and his government.
Trump also said on Wednesday that he does not want war with Iran but he added that if fighting erupts between the two nations, it "wouldn't last very long", suggesting that the US would hit Iran with air strikes rather than with "boots on the ground".
The confrontation with Iran has become more acute after Trump on Tuesday warned Tehran that the US will respond to any further attack on US interests with "overwhelming" force that, in certain cases, could result in "obliteration."
The President's remarks came shortly after his National Security Adviser, John Bolton, extended a hand to Iran to engage in dialogue.
Trump on Monday imposed sanctions on Khamenei, along with his office and eight commanders of the Revolutionary Guard, thus blocking access to any assets or interests they may have under US jurisdiction.
After evaluating the latest moves from Washington, Khamenei called the US proposal for talks deceptive, saying that his country would not knuckle under to Trump's threats.
Khamenei also said additional pressure would not negatively impact his country, stating that
The tensions with Iran flared after the country's forces shot down an American unarmed $100 million surveillance drone last week.