Just weeks before the US Treasury Department sanctioned Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister was reportedly invited to hold talks with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office. Neither the US, nor the Iranian side have commented on the speculations yet.
Iran’s top diplomat Mohammad Javad Zarif received an invitation to the White House last month as tensions between Tehran and Washington reached a fever pitch, The New Yorker reported, citing American and Iranian sources, as well as a “well-informed” diplomat.
The offer was reportedly made by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul after he had discussed the idea with President Donald Trump while the two were playing a round of golf in Virginia on 14 July.
The following day, Paul, who is on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, allegedly met with Zarif in New York, at the residence of Iran’s UN envoy, where he made the diplomatic overture.
According to the sources, the two discussed Iran’s nuclear program, the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the nuclear deal, and the escalation of the situation in the Persian Gulf following so-called “sabotage attacks” on oil tankers that Washington blamed on Tehran, and the Iranian shootdown of a US spy drone.