US President Donald Trump said in a tweet late Saturday night that the United States would not lift sanctions against Iran to negotiate, in what appeared to be a response to an interview published by Der Spiegel newspaper with the Iranian foreign minister.
“Iranian Foreign Minister says Iran wants to negotiate with the United States, but wants sanctions removed. No Thanks,” Trump tweeted in English on Thursday, and later in Farsi.
Iranian’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Sunday by tweeting an excerpt from the interview with Der Spiegel, where he said Iran is still open to negotiations with America if sanctions are lifted.
“@realdonaldtrump [sic] is better advised to base his foreign policy comments & decisions on facts, rather than @FoxNews [sic] headlines or his Farsi translators,” Zarif said in a tweet with the interview excerpt.
Tension between Iran and the United States reached its highest level in decades after Washington killed the prominent Iranian military commander, General Qassem Soleimani in a drone strike in Baghdad on 3 January, which prompted Iran to launch missiles at bases in Iraq that include American forces a few days later.
Tension between the two have been increasing steadily since Trump announced in 2018 the United States withdrawal from the nuclear deal concluded between Iran and world powers in 2015 and reimposed sanctions that severely cut oil exports and weakened the Iranian economy.