During a joint news conference at the White House alongside Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Trump said that he would meet with Iranian leaders “whenever they want to” with “no preconditions.”
California Democratic Rep. John Garamendi said such a meeting would likely not be successful.
“I don’t know what the President hopes to achieve with that meeting,” he said in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on “The Situation Room.” “If the President’s going to sit down with them without any preconditions, he must think he’s a genius, because if he thinks he can pull off a meeting with the supreme leader of Iran without any prior discussions — good luck.”
Blitzer corrected Garamendi that a hypothetical meeting would likely not be with Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, but with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Garamendi blamed Trump for causing the US’ current diplomatic issues with the Islamic Republic by withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
“The President has really created a crisis with Iran,” he said. “We had the Iran nuclear deal that was preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon any time soon … and very, very tight controls and observations of what Iran was doing. That is all being seriously disrupted.”
Garamendi compared a potential meeting with Iran without preconditions to Trump’s widely criticized summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Garamendi also cautioned that Iran is highly dangerous and has caused global disruption.
“Iran is a very, very bad actor,” he said.