President Donald Trump said on Monday that a nuclear deal with Iran is possible.
"I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that's very smart of them, and I think that's a possibility to happen also," Trump said during a news conference with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo.
The president blasted the Obama administration's "horrible" nuclear agreement with the Islamic regime and said heavy sanctions and the decision to pull out of the deal has curbed Iran's terror activity in the Middle East.
"Since I terminated the Iran deal, look what has happened to Iran. When I first came into office Iran was a terror in many locations all over the Middle East. They were behind every single major attack, whether it was Syria, whether it was Yemen, whether it was individual smaller areas, whether it was taking oil away from people. They were involved in everything. Now they are pulling back," Trump explained.
United States sanctions and other pressures have crippled Iran's economy.
The president says he wants to see Iran prosper but first Iranian leaders must give up their aspirations to make Iran a nuclear power.
"I'm not looking to hurt Iran at all. I'm looking to say, 'No nuclear weapons," he explained.
"I think Iran has tremendous economic potential and I look forward to letting them get back to the stage where they can show that," Trump continued.
The president also added that he is not seeking a regime change in Iran.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Twitter by saying that Iran was not seeking nuclear weapons and that US policies were hurting the Iranian people.
"Actions—not words—will show whether or not that's @realDonaldTrump's intent," Zarif said.
Tensions have risen between Iran and the US in recent weeks.
The United States deployed a carrier strike group and bombers to the Gulf region and announced plans to deploy 1,500 troops to the Middle East.
Trump's national security adviser John Bolton said on Saturday that the United States has "deep and serious" intelligence on threats from the Iranian regime.