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‘Iranians would be selfish, stupid if no deal’

‘Iranians would be selfish, stupid if no deal’
Donald Trump (File)
Washington, Jun 27 (IANS) | Publish Date: 6/27/2019 12:08:54 PM IST

US President Donald Trump has said that Iran’s leaders would be “selfish and stupid” if they failed to reach a new deal with Washington to replace the 2015 nuclear accord made by former President Barack Obama, which Trump abandoned.

“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,” Trump said on Wednesday 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 will sign an agreement directly negotiated with his administration, but if not they would be “selfish and stupid”, reports Efe news.

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.

Trump 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 Trump on Tuesday warned Tehran 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’s remarks came shortly after his National Security Adviser, John Bolton, extended a hand to Iran to engage in dialogue.

Trump on Monday imposed sanctions on Khamenei, 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.

After evaluating the latest moves from Washington, Khamenei called the US proposal for talks deceptive, saying that his country would not knuckle under to Trump’s threats.

Khamenei also said additional pressure would not negatively impact his country, stating that 

The tensions with Iran flared after the country’s forces shot down an American unarmed $100 million surveillance drone last week.

Trump threatens additional tariffs on China
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the US would impose “very substantial” tariffs on China if the two countries were unable to reach a trade deal during his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan. “I would do additional tariffs ... very substantial additional tariffs if that doesn’t work, if we don’t make a deal,” the US President during an interview, the Efe news reported.
Trump said: “Companies are moving out of China, by the way, some are coming back to the United States because they don’t want to pay the tariff.”
Trump said the US was benefiting from the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods.
“When tariffs go on in China we are taking in billions and billions of dollars - we never took in 10 cents - now you have another $325 billion that I haven’t taxed yet - it’s ripe for taxing - for putting tariffs on,” Trump said.
The US President, however, said he was optimistic about reaching a trade deal with Beijing, adding that China needed an agreement more than the US. Trump said the Chinese government knows “what we have to have” to cut a trade deal. “We don’t have intellectual property rights protections, we don’t have the opening of China,” Trump said. “You know, China’s not open. We’re open, but China’s not open. So, if we don’t have the openings of China, if we don’t have the things that we negotiated, and maybe even more than that.” Trump said that while he hoped to reach a deal with Xi, his “plan B” could include a 10 percent tariff on “$600 billion” worth of goods from China. “Now what’s going to happen ... all of those companies will move out of China - most of them - and they’ll move to other places like Vietnam and other places that take advantage of us, and we’ll start working on that too ... I don’t want to do too many at one time,” Trump said, referring to trade deals.
The US President said he had decided to use tariffs differently than his predecessors and that his policy was getting results.
Trump and Xi are expected to meet on Saturday in an effort to deal with the trade tensions and amid threats from Washington to impose additional tariffs.
The G20 summit will take place in Osaka, a city in southern Japan, June 28-29.
In May, Trump imposed a 25 percent tariff on Chinese imports worth $200 billion in response to the lack of progress in reaching a trade deal with Beijing.
China, for its part, retaliated by slapping tariffs on US imports worth $60 billion.
In 2018, the US posted a trade deficit of $419 billion with China due, largely, to the fact that US exports to Asia’s largest economy totalled just $120 billion, while American imports from China reached $540 billion.

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