U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran's leadership to sit down and talk with him about giving up Tehran's nuclear program and said he could not rule out a military confrontation given the heightened tensions between the two countries.
At an impromptu news conference at the White House, Trump declined to say what prompted him to deploy the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the region over what was described as unspecified threats.
"We have information that you don't want to know about," said Trump. "They were very threatening and we have to have great security for this country and many other places."
Trump was asked whether there was a risk of military confrontation with the American military presence in the area.
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"I guess you could say that always, right? I don't want to say no, but hopefully that won't happen. We have one of the most powerful ships in the world that is loaded up and we don't want to do anything," he said.
Trump has expressed a willingness to meet Iranian leaders in the past to no avail and renewed that appeal in talking to reporters.
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"What they should be doing is calling me up, sitting down. We can make a deal, a fair deal, we just don't want them to have nuclear weapons - not too much to ask. And we would help put them back to great shape."
He added: "They should call. If they do, we're open to talk to them."