Trump made a comment yesterday that shows how meaningless his offer to talk to Iran is:
But on Monday, Mr Trump said: “If we could work something out that is meaningful, not the waste of paper that the other deal was [bold mine-DL], I would certainly be willing to meet”.
Trump’s loathing of the JCPOA is well-known, and these dismissive remarks about the deal show that he has no interest in genuine diplomatic engagement with Iran. The other members of the P5+1 and Iran all regard the JCPOA as a worthwhile and important agreement, and everyone else is still committed to maintaining it. The deal represents Iran’s willingness to cooperate and accommodate international demands on the nuclear issue, and Trump has repeatedly refused to take Iran’s yes for an answer. If there was ever going to be a chance for additional negotiations with Iran to succeed, the U.S. needed to treat the nuclear deal as a foundation to build upon. Instead, Trump has sought to tear it down and has already given Iran many reasons to abandon it.
Trump’s “willingness” to meet is premised on Iran agreeing to give up things they have refused to concede for more than a decade. Far from showing an interest in a diplomatic resolution to tensions between the U.S. and Iran, the president’s offer is confirmation that he remains trapped by his zero-sum, all-or-nothing view of the world. If he were interested in real negotiations on the basis of mutual respect and compromise, he would never have reneged on the deal in the first place. Feigning interest in talking now is just another scam intended to divert attention from the obnoxious and destructive Iran policy that his administration is carrying out.