Iran on Sunday ruled out talks with Washington unless it changes its general behavior, after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was ready to negotiate with Iran with "no pre-conditions”.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran ignores word games and the use of new language to express secret aims,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi in a statement.
Mousavi also said "The change of general behavior and actions of the U.S. regarding the Iranian nation is the criterion" required for any talk to take place.
Criticizing Washington’s maintaining pressure on Iran, he said it signaled the continuation of the "same faulty behavior which must be corrected."
On May 29, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said: "The door of negotiations is not closed provided the U.S. lifts the sanctions and fulfills its commitments."
Pompeo responded Rouhani that the U.S. was ready to negotiate with Iran with "no pre-conditions” while he was in Switzerland as part of a four-country European tour.
Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have mounted steadily since 2017, when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew his country from a landmark nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 group of nations (the five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany).
Since then, the Trump administration has also re-imposed sanctions on Iran’s banking and energy sectors, while Iran has threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to U.S. oil shipments.
Reporting by Muhammet Kursun in Tehran
Writing by Gozde Bayar