Tensions between Iran and the US escalated to their highest level in recent memory this week, with the US deploying a carrier strike group and nuclear-capable bombers near Iran’s borders and warning that the navy may sail the ships into the Strait of Hormuz.
The White House gave authorities from Switzerland a phone number which Iranian leaders can use to reach President Donald Trump, an unnamed diplomatic source has told CNN.
According to the source, Swiss authorities will pass the number over to Tehran only if the Iranian government requests it, which is thought to be unlikely.
Switzerland’s embassy in Tehran is tasked with representing US interests in the Islamic Republic, with the two countries breaking off relations in 1980 after the revolution against the Shah.
On Thursday, Trump urged Iran’s leaders to phone him up to discuss the tensions between the two countries, saying he “would like to see them call” him, and that the US was “open to talk to them.”
Earlier, Yadollah Javani, deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said that Iran had no plans to talk to the US and saw Washington as an “unreliable” negotiating partner. He added that the US was mistaken if it felt it could intimidate Iran into negotiations with a combination of military threats and sanctions.
Tensions between the two countries escalated sharply this week, with a senior cleric warning Friday that Iran could send…