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Let’s talk, US Secretary Pompeo tells Iran

Let’s talk, US Secretary Pompeo tells Iran
June 03
13:57 2019

(UTV|COLOMBO) – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday that the Trump administration is ready for unconditional discussions with Iran in an effort to ease rising tensions that have sparked fears of conflict. But the United States will not relent in trying to pressure the Islamic Republic to change its behaviour in the Middle East, America’s top diplomat said.

In Tokyo, a Mainichi Shimbun report said Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will meet Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei later this month with Japan hoping to mediate between Washington and Tehran.

In Switzerland, Pompeo repeated long-standing US accusations that Iran is bent on destabilising the region, but he also held out the possibility of talks as President Donald Trump has suggested. While the offer may not pan out, Pompeo made it that the US is not eager for war.

“We’re prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions,” Pompeo told reporters at a news conference with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis. “We’re ready to sit down with them, but the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue.”

Cassis said Switzerland would be pleased to serve as an intermediary, but not a mediator, between the US and Iran. To do so would require requests from both sides, he said.

Tehran ruled out talks with Washington unless it changes its “general behaviour”.

“The change of the general behaviour and actions of the United States of America regarding the Iranian nation is the criterion” required for any talks to take place, foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said.

 

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