22:10 GMT03 March 2021
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US President Donald Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he hopes the Iranian leadership stays, does well and talks to Washington decently.

    "They are doing badly right now; the country is not doing well economically at all," Trump said. "That can be changed very quickly, very easily. But they have to get rid of hostility from the leadership. And the leadership - I hope they stay, I hope they do a great job, but they should talk to us decently. We are all for them."

    On Monday, the US government imposed a new round of sanctions against Iran, targeting the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and military leaders. The US government said it was also preparing sanctions against Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani called the decision to impose sanctions against Khamenei "stupid," while the additional announcement of imposing sanctions on Zarif was a sign that the United States was lying when claiming it was ready to negotiate with Iran.

    Relations between Washington and Tehran have been worsening since May 2018, when Trump decided to pull the United States out of the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and re-impose sanctions.

    On the anniversary of Trump's pullout from the nuclear agreement, Iran announced it had partially discontinued its commitments under the accord. Iran also gave the European Union - a signatory to the agreement - 60 days to ensure Iran's interests were protected under the accord.

    The situation reached a new low earlier in June when Iran said it shot down a US Navy drone on a spying mission over Iran's territorial waters. The United States insisted that the drone was flying over international waters. Iran immediately urged the international community to push the United States to halt its destabilizing actions in the Persian Gulf.


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