Pompeo: U.S. ready to talk to Iran "with no preconditions"
Mike Pompeo on May 31, 2019 in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday the Trump administration is willing to talk to Iran "with no preconditions," but that the U.S. does not currently plan to end sanctions or other forms of its maximum pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic, the AP reports.
Why it matters: Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have been ratcheting up for weeks, with military intervention briefly on the table at the direction of national security adviser John Bolton. Trump, however, says he opposes war and has long favored direct negotiations with leaders of belligerent countries, such as North Korea. Pompeo appears to have fallen in line with Trump's view and is currently meeting with the foreign minister of Switzerland, which has represented U.S. interests and diplomacy in Iran in the past.
The other side: Iran President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the country would be willing to talk to the U.S. if it showed some "respect," but that Iran would not be "bullied" into negotiations, Reuters reports. The UN's atomic watchdog also said Saturday that Iran remains in compliance with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal from which Trump withdrew the U.S., but raised red flags for the first time about its increased centrifuge activity.