Trump says he's willing to meet Iran's leaders without preconditions

President Donald Trump, who has pulled the USA out of a multinational nuclear deal with Iran and has repeatedly attacked the government in Tehran, has now said he is willing to meet the Iranian leadership without any preconditions.

Trump made the comments on Monday during a joint White House news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

"I'll meet with anybody, " he said. "No preconditions. If they want to meet, I'll meet", said the U.S. president.

"I ended the Iran deal - it was a ridiculous deal".

The United States has also vowed to boost sanctions until Iran changes its regional policies, including its support for regional militant groups.

This month Iran's state-run news agency claimed the White House had asked on eight separate occasions for leader-to-leader meetings, with Rouhani rebuffing each request.

A few hours earlier, Mr Rouhani had addressed the U.S. president in a speech, saying that hostile USA policies could lead to "the mother of all wars".

Trump's remarks represented a marked softening in rhetoric from a week ago, when he lashed out at Rouhani in a tweet, saying "Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before". "Good for the country, good for them, good for us and good for the world".

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After Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement, Iran said it was not willing to negotiate another deal.

The president - who has defied American foreign policy orthodoxy by meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Um - indicated he was prepared to do the same with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, should his counterpart want such a tête-à-tête.

Rouhani had claimed that "Iran is the mother of all peace" before warning Trump that 'war with Iran is the mother of all wars'.

"I don't do that from strength or from weakness".

Trump said at the start of his meeting with Conte that the country's new populist government "has taken a very firm stance on the border".

Trump then told reporters that he would like to see "a competing pipeline" in the region, and said he is talking with the Europeans about building additional ports capable of receiving shipments of US liquefied natural gas.

Iran said it was interested in keeping the nuclear deal alive, but only if the remaining powers can guarantee that it will not face economic isolation under Washington's sanctions.

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