US diplomat Rex Tillerson hints at possible talks with Iranian counterpart

By: | Updated: May 21, 2017 7:24 AM

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hinted on Saturday that he was open to direct talks with Iran in the future.

Tillerson said he wanted Rouhani to “begin a process of dismantling” what he called “destabilizing forces that exist in this region.” (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hinted on Saturday that he was open to direct talks with Iran in the future.”In terms of whether I would ever pick the phone up, I’ve never shut off the phone to anyone that wants to talk or have a productive conversation,” Xinhua quoted Tillerson as saying.

“At this point, I have no plans to call my counterpart in Iran, although in all likelihood we will talk at the right time,” said Tillerson. Iran’s incumbent moderate President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday won the presidential election by garnering 57 per cent of the votes, according to the Iranian Interior Ministry.

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Tillerson said he wanted Rouhani to “begin a process of dismantling” what he called “destabilizing forces that exist in this region.”

Tillerson’s remarks were made during US President Donald Trump’s first official overseas trip to Saudi Arabia and Israel, Iran’s main regional rivals in the Middle East.

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