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October 18, 2019
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Trump says not seeking war with Iran

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has reiterated his stance that he was not seeking war with said he is not seeking war with Iran.

The President comments came at a time when he dispatched two top officials to the Middle East amid heightened tensions.

Trump made the comment during NBC television Meet the Press programme.

The downing of a US surveillance drone on Thursday by Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had brought the two foes to the brink of war.

Trump had earlier said that he called off a military attack in retaliation of drone downing, saying that he thought it would have been a disproportionate response.

Trump has indicated that he would also be prepared to seek a deal to bolster Iran’s flagging economy, an apparent move to defuse tensions.

“I think they want to negotiate. And I think they want to make a deal. And my deal is nuclear. Look, they’re not going to have a nuclear weapon,” Trump said.

Last year, Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 accord between Iran and world powers that curbed Tehran’s nuclear programme in exchange for easing sanctions. Relations in the region have worsened significantly since then.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is on his way to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), reiterated on Sunday that Washington wanted talks with Tehran.

“We’re prepared to negotiate with no preconditions,” he said. “They know precisely how to find us. I am confident that at the very moment they’re ready to truly engage with us we’ll be able to begin these conversations. I’m looking forward to that day.”

If a conflict breaks out in the region, no country would be able to manage its scope and timing.