Tehran [Iran]: Tehran on Sunday ruled out the possibility of talks between the two countries unless the US changes its “general behaviour and actions.”
This came in response to a statement by US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo that Washington is willing to negotiate with Iran “with no preconditions”.
At a press conference here, Abbas Mousavi, the spokesperson for Iranian foreign ministry, said that the criterion required for the talks to take place is the “change of the general behaviour and actions of the United States of America regarding the Iranian nation.”
“The Islamic Republic of Iran ignores word games and the use of new languages to express secret aims,” Mousavi was cited as saying by The Times of Israel.
In a statement that could be read as an apparent softening of his previous stance on Iranian conflict, Pompeo on Sunday had said at a press conference in Switzerland, that Washington is “prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions.”
However, he added, “The American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue.”
Pompeo’s latest comments came amid continuing tensions between Washington and Tehran which recently heightened after the US deployed carrier strike warships and B-52 bombers off the coast of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to counter an alleged and unexplained threat from Iran.
This was followed by the deployment of 1500 additional troops in the Persian Gulf, a move that the US officials claimed was a reaction to photographs showing Iran loading missiles onto small traditional boats.
On Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had suggested that Tehran may be willing to hold talks if the United States showed its respect, adding that the country would not be “bullied” into negotiations with Washington.
“We are for logic and talks if [the other side] sits respectfully at the negotiating table and follows international regulations, not if it issues an order to negotiate,” Rouhani was quoted as saying. “We have shown that we do not submit to bullying and covetous powers.”
US President Donald Trump, who unilaterally pulled Washington out of a landmark deal curbing Iran’s nuclear programme, has tightened sanctions on Tehran, eliminating waivers that had allowed some countries to buy Iranian oil, a move aimed at reducing the country’s crude exports to zero.