Iran 'stupid' if no new deal with US:Trump

President Donald Trump says Iran's leaders would be "selfish and ... stupid" if they fail to reach a new deal with Washington to replace the 2015 nuclear accord made by former President Barack Obama, which Mr.Trump jettisoned.

"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," Mr.Trump said 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 would sign an agreement directly negotiated with his administration, but if not they would be "selfish and ... stupid."

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.

The President 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 Mr.Trump warned Tehran on Tuesday 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 made that remark shortly after his hardline national security adviser, John Bolton, extended a hand to Iran to engage in dialogue.

Mr.Trump on Monday imposed sanctions on the Ayatollah, 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.

The tensions with Iran are sure to be one of the main themes at the G20 meeting, where China, Russia and various European countries are expected to try and calm the situation down.

However, the US and Saudi Arabia, Tehran's big regional rival, apparently intend to continue with their hardline policy toward Iran and its leaders.

Iran shot down a US unarmed $100 million surveillance drone last week and the Trump administration began a countdown to a military response of air and/or missile strikes that the president cancelled at the last minute.



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