U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday urged Iran's leadership to sit down and talk with him about giving up Tehran's nuclear programme 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, who last year pulled Washington out of a 2015 nuclear deal between six world powers and Iran, has expressed a willingness to meet Iranian leaders in the past to no avail and renewed that appeal in talking to reporters.
"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."
Asked about Trump's comments, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said Iran had been talking with the six powers, including the United States, within the framework of the nuclear deal.
"All of a sudden he decided to leave the negotiating table. ... What is the guarantee that he will not renege again?" Takht Ravanchi said in an MSNBC interview.