UPDATED 9:30 AM PT — Friday, September 6, 2019
Defense Secretary Mark Esper says Iran could be inching toward talks with the U.S. During a briefing with his British counterpart in London Friday, Esper said the goal has always been to get the Islamic Republic on a path toward negotiations. His remarks come after Iran announced it would pursue further research and development of enriched uranium in violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.
Esper also said President Trump is still willing to sit down with Iranian leaders.
“The president has been very clear about the willingness to meet with Iran without precondition to discuss how we move forward and avoid conflict,” he stated. “Now my role, my responsibility in that regard, is making sure that we shape the environment, if you will, and enable our diplomats to get to that point.”
U.K. Defense Minister Ben Wallace said while Iran has said it wants to make a deal, actions speak louder than words. Wallace then pointed to the rogue nation’s capture of a British ship. Despite this he said the U.K. will support the U.S. in any deal it brokers with the Persian nation.
🇬🇧🇺🇸UK-US defence co-operation is the broadest, deepest and most advanced of any two countries in the world. Today @BWallaceMP met with his US counterpart @EsperDoD to discuss shared threats and commitment to NATO https://t.co/rGzbicZOp5 pic.twitter.com/3ZXxnZt75C
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) September 6, 2019