Pompeo: Trump admin willing to talk to Iran ‘with no preconditions’ as tensions hit boiling point

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Simply weeks after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced a renewed “stress marketing campaign” focusing on Iran’s vitality sector, America’s prime diplomat stated Sunday the Trump administration is keen to speak with Iran “with no preconditions” — however he added that debilitating sanctions which have crippled Iran’s financial system will stay in impact.

The U.S. is “ready to have interaction in a dialog with no preconditions; we’re prepared to sit down down” with Iran’s leaders, Pompeo stated at a press convention. He warned, nonetheless, that “the American effort to basically reverse the malign exercise of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary power, goes to proceed.”

The dramatic improvement comes amid quickly escalating tensions between Iran and america. President Trump fired a social media broadside on the Iranian regime in Might, vowing that conflict between Washington and Tehran would lead to “the official finish of Iran” earlier than warning, “[n]ever threaten america once more!”

Additionally in Might, Iranian Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei issued a rare public rebuke of President Hasan Rouhani and Overseas Minister Javad Zarif, slamming their implementation of the nation’s 2015 worldwide nuclear accord and suggesting the rising affect of hardliners within the regime.

Iran Supreme Chief Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is pictured final month. (Workplace of the Iranian Supreme Chief by way of AP)

Rouhani was quoted by Iran’s state-run IRNA information company as saying that if the U.S. “realizes that the best way it selected [to leave the nuclear deal] was incorrect, then we will sit on the negotiating desk and clear up any drawback.” In any other case, he stated, Iran has no selection however resistance.

Additionally Sunday, Zarif dismissed Trump’s invitation final month for Iranian officers to contact him about attainable talks.

“It isn’t very seemingly as a result of speaking is the continuation of the method of stress. He’s imposing stress. This will likely work in an actual property market. It doesn’t work in coping with Iran,” he advised ABC’s “This Week.”

Pompeo is in Switzerland for talks with Overseas Minister Ignazio Cassis. Switzerland represents U.S. pursuits in Iran.

Iran’s financial system is on the brink thanks largely to the Trump administration’s sanctions, in line with the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF). The nation is in a deep recession, with inflation at roughly 40 %, the group stated, marking the very best such degree since 1980.

The Trump administration final summer time restored main sanctions towards Iran within the areas of vehicles, gold and different key metals. The sanctions had been suspended beneath former President Barack Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal, pummelling the worth of foreign money there and threatening to additional unravel the Islamic nation’s already-struggling financial system.

Trump pulled the U.S. out of the nuclear deal in Might 2018, saying its enforcement and monitoring mechanisms had been too lenient and calling for Iran to return to the negotiating desk. Much more extreme U.S. sanctions towards Iran’s banking and vitality sectors, together with restrictions on Iran’s oil trade, went into impact later, chopping off an important supply of laborious foreign money.

TRUMP WARNS OF THE ‘END’ OF IRAN: ‘NEVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN’

The Trump administration had granted oil sanctions waivers for a number of international locations, together with China and India and U.S. treaty allies Japan, South Korea and Turkey. However these waivers weren’t renewed final month.

Pompeo, in formally saying the transfer, described it as a part of the “stress marketing campaign” to choke off funding to the regime and incentivize Iran to behave like a “regular nation.”

“It’s the regime’s primary supply of money,” Pompeo stated of oil income. “We’ll now not grant any exemption [to sanctions for importing Iranian oil] … We’re going to zero throughout the board.”

On Friday, the U.N. atomic watchdog launched a quarterly report on Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal. The report from the Worldwide Atomic Power Company in Vienna stated Iran continued to remain inside the limitations set by the 2015 deal however for the primary time raised questions on its adherence to a key provision meant to restrict the nation’s use of superior centrifuges that may enrich uranium.

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, address the media during a joint statement prior to a meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Friday, May 31, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, proper, tackle the media throughout a joint assertion previous to a gathering on the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Friday, Might 31, 2019. (AP Picture/Michael Sohn)

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The seriousness of the problem was not instantly clear, though a senior diplomat stated discussions had been ongoing about tips on how to resolve the matter.

Trump has signaled willingness to speak with Iran’s management. Iranian officers have hinted on the risk however have additionally insisted they won’t be bulled.

Pompeo’s Iran-related diplomacy has already taken him to Iraq, Britain, Belgium and Russia since early Might. Pompeo additionally met German Chancellor Angela Merkel a day after she delivered not-so-veiled criticism of Trump in a graduation speech to Harvard College.

With out straight naming Trump, Merkel advised Harvard graduates that they need to “tear down partitions of ignorance” and reject isolationism as they deal with international issues. She additionally stated leaders mustn’t “describe lies as fact and fact as lies.”

Merkel stated earlier than the assembly with Pompeo they might talk about tips on how to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and “how we stop different aggressive actions by Iran.”

Fox Information’ Judson Berger, Samuel Chamberlain, Elizabeth Llorente, and The Related Press contributed to this report.

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