Mike Pompeo Says U.S. Is Prepared For Iran Talks With ‘No Preconditions’

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BELLINZONA, Suisse (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the Trump administration is prepared for unconditional discussions with Iran in an endeavour to ease rising tensions that have sparked fears of conflict, however, the United States won’t relent in trying an attempt to pressure the Islamic Republic to alter its behaviour in the Middle East, America’s high diplomat said.

Pompeo recurrent long-standing U.S. accusations that Iran is bent on destabilizing the region, however, he also held out the possibility of talks as President Donald Trump has recommended. whereas the offer may not pan out, Pompeo made it during a visit to Switzerland, the country that long has represented American interests in Iran, as a part of a European trip aimed toward reassuring cautious leaders that the U.S. isn’t looking forward to war.

“We’re ready to have interaction during a conversation with no preconditions,” Pompeo told reporters at a conference together with his Swiss counterpart. “We’re able to sit down with them, however, the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, goes to continue. “Iran’s foreign minister discharged Trump’s invite for Iranian officials to contact him regarding possible talks.

“It’s not very likely because talking is the continuation of the method of pressure. He’s imposing pressure. This could add a true estate market. It does not work in dealing with Iran,” Javad Zarif told ABC’s “This Week.”

Pompeo’s meeting with Foreign minister Ignazio Cassis in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona came amid concerns regarding the potential for escalation and fault with Iran — a situation that has many in Europe and the Middle East on edge.

Cassis, whose country has been an intermediary between the two before, made no secret of that nervousness

“The state of affairs is incredibly tense. We are fully aware, each party is totally aware, of this tension. Switzerland, of course, desires there’s no escalation, no escalation to violence,” he said. “Both parties are currently increasing the pressure, and for the remainder, this is often a matter of worry, however, we cannot do anything unless we get a mandate from each party.”

Cassis said Switzerland would be happy to function as an intermediary, however not a “mediator,” between us and Iran. To do so, however, would need requests from either side, he said.

Neither he nor Pompeo would say if such requests had been made of the Swiss. Pompeo thanked Switzerland, which serves as the “protecting power” for us in Iran, for taking care of Americans detained there. Trump administration officials have suggested they might look positively at any move to release a minimum of five Americans and at least two permanent U.S. residents presently imprisoned in Iran.

Pompeo declined to comment upon whether or not he had created a selected request to Swiss regarding the detainees. But, he said the release of unjustly captive Americans in Iran and elsewhere is a  U.S. priority.

Pompeo was in Switzerland on the second leg after Germany of a four-nation tour of Europe during which he’s each making an attempt to calm nerves and stressing that the U.S. can defend itself and not relent in raising pressure on Iran with economic sanctions.

Despite the firm stance, Trump has signalled a willingness to speak with Iran’s leadership. Iranian officials have hinted at the possibility however insisted they’re going to not be bulled.

“If they require to talk, I’m available,” Trump said last week, while Pompeo and also the White House national security advisor, John Bolton, was stepping up warnings that any attack on American interests by Iran or its proxies would draw a fast and vital U.S. response.

The U.S. is sending hundreds of additional extra troops to the region after blaming Iran and Iranian proxies for recent sabotage to tankers in the Persian Gulf and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure.

Some analysts believe Iran is acting to revive leverage its lost since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and also the U.S. reimposed sanctions that have hobbled Iran’s economy.

Last month, the administration concluded sanctions waivers that had allowed certain countries to still import Iranian oil, the country’s main supply of revenue, without U.S. penalties. The U.S. additionally selected Iran’s Revolutionary Guards a “foreign terrorist organization,” adding new layers of sanctions to foreigners which may do business with it or its affiliates.

Despite the U.S. withdrawal, Iran has remained a party to the nuclear deal that involves the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany, and the European Union. Iran has continuing to broadly comply with the terms, that drawn up it to curb its nuclear work in exchange for sanctions relief. On Friday, however, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog reported that Iran is also in violation of limits on the number of advanced centrifuges it will use.

Pompeo declined to comment on the findings of the International Atomic energy Agency aside from to mention the U.S. is “watching closely” what’s occurring in Iran.

“The world ought to be conscious of how we have a tendency to be looking at closely how Iran is yielding with the wants that were started,” he said.