Pompeo: US prepared to engage with Iran without preconditions 

Source: Pompeo: US prepared to engage with Iran without preconditions – www.israelhayom.com

When the Iranians prove they want to behave like a “normal nation,” U.S. is eager to start negotiations, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tells Swiss counterpart.

The United States is prepared to engage with Iran without preconditions about its nuclear program but needs to see the country behaving like “a normal nation,” U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani suggested on Saturday that Iran may be willing to hold talks if Washington showed it respect, but said Tehran would not be pressured into talks.

Pompeo, in an apparent softening of his previous stance, said when asked about Rouhani’s remarks: “We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions, we are ready to sit down.”

However, he said Washington would continue to work to “reverse the malign activity” of Iran in the Middle East, citing Tehran’s support to Hezbollah and to the Syrian government.

Pompeo said U.S. President Donald Trump had been saying for a long time that he was willing to talk to Iran.

“We are certainly prepared to have that conversation when the Iranians can prove that they want to behave like a normal nation,” Pompeo told a joint news conference with his Swiss counterpart Ignazio Cassis in the southern Swiss city of Bellinzona.

Trump said last Monday he was hopeful Iran would come to the negotiating table. But Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Tehran would not negotiate with Washington, even after Rouhani had previously signaled talks might be possible if sanctions were lifted.

Cassis voiced concern at Iranian people suffering from the impact of sanctions and said that neutral Switzerland wanted to provide humanitarian aid, “especially pharmaceutical products and foodstuffs.”

He said Iran needed to make payments for this, and that was possible only if the United States allowed banks to transfer payments. Cassis said he was confident the United States would come up with the “best possible solution” to that problem in a short time.

Iran has stayed within the main restrictions of its 2015 nuclear deal, a quarterly report by the U.N. atomic watchdog indicated on Friday, at a time when Tehran is threatening to break the rules in future in response to new U.S. sanctions.

Pompeo declined on Sunday to comment on the latest report by the International Atomic Energy Agency. He said Washington was tracking IAEA findings closely but added: “We also have our own independent understanding of what is taking place there.

“And the world should be mindful that we are watching closely how Iran is complying with the requirements that were set out in the JCPOA, not only the heavy water issue, but the amount of high-enriched uranium which they are accumulating,” he said, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which the Trump administration has quit.

“We are watching closely as they put centrifuges into work and whether they are actually beginning to spin those centrifuges and load those centrifuges,” Pompeo said.

Switzerland has served as an intermediary between Iran and the United States since shortly after the Islamic revolution in November 1979. Switzerland provides protective and consular services for some 100 U.S. citizens and 12,000 people with both U.S. and Iranian citizenship.


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One Comment on “Pompeo: US prepared to engage with Iran without preconditions ”

  1. wingate Says:

    “He who doesnt learn from history will have to repeat it !”

    Iranian medieval nazi dictators are very smart / very dangerous !

    The USA is repeating the errors ahead of WW2 – underestimating the monster hitler/sitting down and talk to him !
    I fear we see a remake of Chamberlain/talking to the devil hitler !
    I fear we are on the doorstep to WW3…

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