Trump was speaking on a podium with French President Emanuel Macron, who had invited Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to the summit over the weekend. Macron is one of many intermediaries seeking to arrange a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Trump said he would be open to such a meeting if the Iranians were “good players” and “if the circumstances were correct.”
This is not a particularly new position for the president. He has frequently said he is interested in talks with Iran and has stressed that his goal is not an end to Iran’s regime, but rather a better deal.
The news is that Trump is making this gesture now. Iran has not made any significant changes to its rhetoric, policy or behavior; just last weekend, for example, it imposed sanctions on a Washington think tank, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. While it’s unclear what impact this may have, a state news agency indicated that actions “against the FDD and their Iranian and non-Iranian accomplices will be considered legitimate.”