President Donald Trump said on Monday he was willing to meet the leaders of Iran without any preconditions, opening the door to possible negotiations with the Tehran regime just months after he withdrew the US from the 2015 nuclear deal. Speaking alongside Giuseppe Conte, the Italian prime minister, at the White House, Mr Trump said he was willing to meet President Hassan Rouhani, but that he was not sure about whether Iranians would agree.

“I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet. I don’t know that they are ready yet,” Mr Trump said. “I think it is an appropriate thing to do. If we could work something out that is meaningful, not the waste of paper that the other deal was, I would certainly be willing to meet.” Stressing his move this year to withdraw the US from the nuclear deal that the Obama administration and its European allies signed with Iran, the US president said Iran would eventually want to talk. “They are having a hard time right now. But I ended the Iran deal. It was a ridiculous deal.

I do believe that they will probably end up wanting to meet.” I believe in meeting . . . speaking to other people, especially when you are talking about potentials of war and death and famine Donald Trump Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is the ultimate decision maker in the country, has shown no signs of willingness to enter into negotiations with the US. He has vowed no compromise over regional and defence policies that he sees as essential to his regime’s survival.