TEHRAN (Press Shia) – After US President Donald Trump publicly appealed to Iran to call him amid heightened tensions with Tehran, the White House contacted the Swiss on Thursday to share a phone number the Iranians could call the President on, according to a diplomatic source familiar with the move.
“I’d like to see them call me,” Trump said of the Iranians in the White House on Thursday.
The source said the Swiss likely won’t hand over the number unless the Iranians specifically ask for it and it’s thought they are highly unlikely to do so. White House officials said Trump’s overtures are sincere, CNN reported on Friday.
The White House did not reply to a request for comment on the sharing of the number.
The US and Iran do not have an official diplomatic relationship and Switzerland serves as the protecting power for the US in the country. That means they represent US interests in Iran, performing services for US citizens in the country like visa processing. They also serve as a channel for diplomacy between the two nations though there are other mechanisms for the two nations to communicate.
Trump’s public overture comes as the US has increased its military presence in the region, deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force due to what administration officials say is “specific and credible” intelligence indicating Iran poses a threat to US forces in the area.