President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that Sen. Rand Paul is involved in diplomatic talks with Iran, referring to the country as “nothing but trouble.”
The Kentucky Republican has long been an opponent of U.S. intervention in Iran. POLITICO reported earlier this week that he asked for Trump’s blessing to arrange a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in hopes of avoiding further conflict with the country. It is still unclear if the meeting will occur.
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Trump had previously said he was unaware of plans to include Paul in talks with Iran. But he acknowledged the senator’s role Friday in response to a question about the administration’s plan to calm tensions following Iran’s seizure of a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.
“Rand asked me if he could get involved,” Trump said told reporters. “The answer is yes.”
This week, Zarif criticized U.S. foreign policies and told reporters during his visit to the United Nations headquarters in New York that the onus is on the United States to ease tensions with Iran. He said Iran would be open to more enhanced inspections of its nuclear program in exchange for the U.S. lifting sanctions on the country.
“It goes to show you I was right about Iran,” Trump said. He called President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran “ridiculous.”
The president also called the U.K. a “very good ally” and vowed to use its diplomatic relationship with the United States to help facilitate talks.
“We always have an alliance with the U.K.,” Trump said. “We’ll talk to the U.K. We have no written agreement, but we have an agreement.”