Answering questions in a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the White House, Trump said he’d be willing to meet Rouhani with “no preconditions” and “anytime they want.”
Such a meeting would be “good for the country, good for them, good for us, and good for the world,” Trump added.
His comments Monday were more conciliatory than a statement he had for Rouhani on July 23 in the form of a mostly capitalized tweet.
“To Iranian President Rouhani: Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence & death. Be cautious!”
Trump’s message came one day after Rouhani gave a televised speech in which he spoke directly to Trump.
“Mr. Trump: We are the honest men who have throughout history guaranteed the safety of this region’s waterways,” Rouhani said. “Do not play with the lion’s tail, it will bring regret.”
The tough words between Rouhani and the Trump administration follow Trump’s plan to reimpose sanctions on Iran over the country’s efforts to develop nuclear technology, which could cause Iran’s oil exports to fall by up to one-third by the end of 2018.