Jerusalem – After expressing initial opposition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu acknowledged the possibility of a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani this month at the U.N. General Assembly in New York.
“I’m sure Trump will take a much tougher position,” Netanyahu told reporters on Thursday in London, where he met with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper.
Earlier in the day, Netanyahu said “this is not the time to hold talks with Iran. This is the time to increase the pressure on Iran.”
On Wednesday, Trump reiterated that he was open to meeting with Rouhani.
“Sure, anything’s possible. They would like to be able to solve their problem,” he said on Wednesday in reference to rising inflation and the struggling economy for citizens of the Islamic Republic. “We could solve it in 24 hours.”
French President Emmanuel Macron called on Trump last week at the Group of Seven, or G7, meetings in Biarritz, France, to return to the negotiating table with the Iranians since withdrawing the United States from the nuclear accord in May 2018, reimposing sanctions lifted under it, along with enacting new financial penalties against the regime.
However, Rouhani has said he would not meet with Trump until the United States lifts its sanctions against Iran, a proposition Trump has rejected.