USA ready to talk with Iran 'with no preconditions': Mike Pompeo


The Latest: US would talk with Iran 'with no preconditions'

Nonetheless, Pompeo's comments mark the first time the Trump administration has offered no-strings-attached talks since the recent escalation began in the wake of the USA withdrawal from a hard-won 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.

The brief stop in The Hague on Monday is the third leg of a four-nation tour of Europe in which Pompeo is trying to calm nerves over US-Iran tensions while also stressing that America will not relent in raising pressure on the Islamic Republic through economic sanctions, AP reported.

On Sunday in Switzerland, Pompeo said the Trump administration is ready for unconditional discussions with Iran in an effort to ease tensions that have sparked fears of conflict.

But he stressed Switzerland could not be "mediators if there is not willingness on both sides". "It does not work in dealing with Iran", Javad Zarif told ABC's "This Week".

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"President Trump has proposed talks "without preconditions" since July 2018, before the US imposed sanctions on Iran's oil and financial sectors to squeeze Iran's economy".

The United States, which has blacklisted Huawei, has discouraged its European allies from using the Chinese company's technology, citing concerns about a "backdoor" that could enable spying by the Chinese state. "Switzerland, of course, wishes there is no escalation, no escalation to violence".

Washington re-imposed sanctions past year and ratcheted them up in May, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

Rouhani had suggested on Saturday that Iran might be willing to hold talks if Washington showed it respect, but said Tehran would not be pressured into talks.

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Mr Pompeo declined to comment on the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency other than to say the United States is "watching closely" what is going on in Iran.

The US was closely watching Iran to assess whether it was complying with the requirements set out in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) aimed at limiting Iran's potential to develop nuclear weapons, which the Trump administration quit previous year.

US President Donald Trump, he said, "is imposing pressure".

In other words, Washington has no intention to let up on its campaign of "maximum pressure" on Iran. Trump administration officials have suggested they would look positively at any move to release at least five American citizens and at least two permanent USA residents now imprisoned in Iran. The US also designated Iran's Revolutionary Guards a "foreign terrorist organisation", adding new layers of sanctions to foreigners that might do business with it or its affiliates.

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"The world should be mindful of how we are watching closely how Iran is complying with the requirements that were set out", he said.

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