Oil dove sharply on Tuesday after back-to-back comments from President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signaling a potential de-escalation of tensions in the region.
Earlier in the day President Trump reiterated during a Cabinet meeting, "We're not looking for regime change," adding "We want them out of Yemen."
Pompeo, seated next to Trump, said that Tehran is ready to negotiate over its missile program for the first time.
"For the first time … the Iranians said they are ready to negotiate on their missile program," said Pompeo.
Trump added "They’d like to talk, and we’ll see what happens," adding that Iran "can't have a nuclear weapon."
The comments sent oil tumbling.
Earlier this week Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that negotiations between Washington and Tehran would be possible if the Trump administration eases sanctions on the Islamic Republic. Zarif told NBC Nightly News in an interview that aired Monday that they're "wide open" to talks if the sanctions are removed.
Mr. Zarif offered an initially high price for such negotiations — the halt of U.S. arms sales to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two key U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf.
But the fact that he mentioned it at all potentially represents a change in policy. The country’s ballistic missile program remains under control of the Iranian paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. -Washington Times
Iran’s Foreign Minister @JZarif tells @TheZeinabBadawi "If there is a war then I do not think anybody will be safe in our region. But let us all try to avoid a war" #Iran #IranSanctions pic.twitter.com/XQf0TWoAa3— BBC HARDtalk (@BBCHARDtalk) July 15, 2019
Last week the international agency that monitor's Iran's compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal confirmed that Iran had exceeded the authorized level of uranim enrichment - the country's second major breach of the pact in recent weeks.