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Iran will not be bullied: Washington willing to talk with “No Preconditions”

The Iranian leadership has firmly asserted that it will not be bullied into joining the negotiating table and will consider dialogue if the US returns with “normal conditions”. Meanwhile, Mike Pompeo has stated that Washington is willing to resume dialogue with “no preconditions”.

Washington

AFP |

Tehran on Sunday ruled out talks with Washington unless it changes its “general behaviour”, after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said his country was ready for negotiations with Iran.

“The change of the general behaviour and actions of the United States of America regarding the Iranian nation is the criterion” required for any talks to take place, said foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran ignores word games and the use of new language to express secret aims,” said Mousavi. “Mr. Pompeo’s emphasis on maintaining maximum pressure on Iran reflects the continuation of the same faulty behaviour that must be corrected,” the spokesman said, quoted in a ministry statement.

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asserted that while the government can consider initiating dialogue with Washington as long as the US engages with respect, Iran will “not be bullied” into joining the negotiation table.

Pompeo, who is considered a hawk on Iranian issues, appeared to soften the US stance somewhat on Sunday following weeks of escalating tensions with Tehran. “We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions,” Pompeo said in Switzerland, which in the absence of US-Iranian diplomatic ties represents Washington’s interests in the Islamic republic. “We are ready to sit down with them,” he said.

But Pompeo appeared to immediately back-pedal on the offer of conditions-free talks, stating that Washington was “certainly prepared to have (a) conversation when the Iranians will prove they are behaving as a normal nation.”

Iran will not be Bullied: Rouhani

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asserted that while the government can consider initiating dialogue with Washington as long as the US engages with respect, Iran will “not be bullied” into joining the negotiation table.

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Iranian news agency Fars quoted Rouhani, “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. We have shown that we do not submit to bullying and covetous powers.”

Speaking to a large gathering of national athletes and sportsmen in Tehran, Iranian President Rouhani stressed that Iran will emerge a victor in the economic warfare imposed by Washington.

President Rouhani said, “Iran will surely push back the enemy until final victory even under difficult conditions. The enemies in their vain delusion wished to make Iranian people give in, but despite hardships, they resisted bravely against the enemies’ cries.” He continued, “We have demonstrated that we will stand against the bullying powers and we favor logic and negotiation.”

US Secretary of State Pompeo stated that President Trump had expressed his willingness to initiate dialogue with the Iranian leadership “in the past few days” and has been reinstating his willingness “for an awfully long time”.

US Willing to put aside Preconditions?

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed a joint press briefing with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis, stating that Washington is willing to sit down with the Iranian leadership.

Mike Pompeo said, “We’re prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We’re ready to sit down with them. But the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue.”

Swiss Foreign Minister Cassis stressed that Switzerland is eager to dispatch humanitarian aid and relief goods to Iran, and plays its role in defusing tensions as “intermediators, not mediators” if there is no goodwill from both parties.

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Foreign Minister Cassis noted, “Both parties are now increasing the pressure, and for us this is a matter of worry, but we cannot do anything unless we get a mandate from both parties.”

US Secretary of State Pompeo stated that President Trump had expressed his willingness to initiate dialogue with the Iranian leadership “in the past few days” and has been reinstating his willingness “for an awfully long time”. Pompeo added, “We’re certainly prepared to have that conversation when the Iranians conclude that they want to behave like a normal nation.”

US Secretary Pompeo stated that today, Iran is struggling with “real challenges” that are not caused by the US-imposed economic sanctions but in fact, the 40-year old Islamic regime. Mike Pompeo accused Iran’s Islamic regime of “not taking care of its people, instead using their resources to destroy real lives, to use resources to underwrite Hizballah, to using resources to fight in Syria, where 6 million human beings, 6 million people, have been displaced because of Iranian activity in support of the Assad regime there.”

US Senator Bernie Sanders, tweeting from his official account, stressed that a war with Iran must be avoided, and there is “no middle ground on endless wars”.

Pompeo further added, “They have used their resources in ways that fundamentally undermine the well-being of their own country.”

Negotiations with “Normal Conditions”

Responding to Mike Pompeo’s statement of holding talks with no preconditions, President Rouhani stressed that the US had left the negotiating table, and now, it must return with “normal conditions”, reported Press TV.

President Rouhani said, “I declare as the representative of the Iranian nation that in this period, and for as long as the enemy does not regret its measures in the past, we have no way but to show resistance. He added, “If the enemy truly realizes it has taken a wrong and incorrect approach, then we can sit at the negotiating table and solve any issues.”

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US Senator Bernie Sanders, tweeting from his official account, stressed that a war with Iran must be avoided, and there is “no middle ground on endless wars”.

Sanders tweeted, “The same people that got us into Iraq are now trying to start a war with Iran.”

Mark Dubowitz, Chief Executive of The Foundation for Defense of Democracies, observed that there is no change in US policy towards Iran.

Dubowitz tweeted, “There’s no change in policy. The 12 demands were never pre-conditions for negotiations. They are pre-conditions, subject to negotiations, for acceptable deal. Trump is using nukes as a shorthand. Better he always say “nukes & all other malign activities.”

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AFP with additional input by GVS news desk.

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