Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan has called on U.S. President Donald Trump to engage in talks with Iran rather than continuing his anti-Iran rhetoric.
“It is important to reach out and talk to Iran,” Annan told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
He described Iran as part of the solution to the conflicts in the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq, adding, “We cannot get away from that fact.”
Annan added that Washington’s labeling Iran as the enemy and sponsor of terrorism is not going to contribute to the realization of peace in the region in any way.
The comments come as Trump has on numerous occasions taken a harsh tone when talking about the Islamic Republic, calling it the “number one terrorist state” and criticizing his predecessor Barack Obama for being “too nice” towards Iran.
During his recent Middle East tour, during which Trump visited Saudi Arabia and Israel, the new U.S. president continued with his practice of Iranophobia.
Trump also signed an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, under which the U.S. would sell the kingdom $110 billion worth of arms to “counter” Iran.
The new U.S. administration has also imposed new sanctions against Tehran over its defensive missile tests, which Iran says is only for defensive purposes.