The White House has contacted Swiss authorities to share a telephone number with Iran in hopes that Tehran will contact US President Donald Trump, CNN reports.
The White House contacted the Swiss on Thursday, the same day Trump publicly appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions, the broadcaster cited a source as saying.
The source, however, said Iran was “highly unlikely” to demand the number from Swiss authorities. The Swiss embassy represents US interests in Tehran, where Washington has had no mission since 1980. While Trump called for talks on Thursday, he did not rule out military action against Iran.
Earliest this week, hawkish national security adviser John Bolton announced that the US was deploying an aircraft carrier strike group and a bomber task force to the Middle East in a bid to send a “message” to Iran.
Asked about the deployment decision on Thursday, Trump said Iran had been “very threatening.”
“We have information that you don’t want to know about. They were very threatening, and we just want to have — we have to have great security for this country,” Trump said.
On Friday, a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) stressed that Tehran would not engage in talks with the Americans. IRGC’s deputy head for political affairs, Brigadier General Yadollah Javani, said the US thinks it can intimidate Iran into negotiations with a combination of military threats and sanctions, but to no avail.