US remains open to negotiations, Iran needs to walk through that open door: Bolton

AFP Jerusalem Jun 25, 2019, 02.59 PM(IST)

US National Security Adviser John Bolton. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The United States imposed sanctions on Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others, which the Iranian foreign ministry said meant a 'permanent closure of the path to diplomacy'.

US national security advisor(NSA) John Bolton on Tuesday described as "deafening" Iran's apparent silence on an offer to negotiate with Washington.

"The president has held the door open to real negotiations," Bolton said in a statement.

"In response, Iran's silence has been deafening," he added during a visit to Jerusalem.

The United States imposed sanctions Monday on Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and others, which the Iranian foreign ministry said meant a "permanent closure of the path to diplomacy" with the US administration.

Tensions are running high after Iran shot down a US spy drone last week and Trump considered, then cancelled, a retaliatory strike.

Bolton said Tuesday the US remains open to negotiations, more than a year after Washington pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

"All that Iran needs to do is to walk through that open door," he said.

But Iran's president said Washington's decision to impose sanctions on senior officials including its top diplomat proved the US was "lying" about talks.

"At the same time as you call for negotiations, you seek to sanction the foreign minister? It's obvious that you're lying," President Hassan Rouhani said in a meeting with ministers broadcast live on TV.