Iran dismisses U.S. call for talks “with no preconditions” as “wordplay”

Iran dismisses U.S. call for talks “with no preconditions” as “wordplay”

TEHRAN (Rahnuma):  Iran’s Foreign Ministry said the U.S. call for talks with Iran is merely “wordplay,” Tasnim news agency reported Monday.

“Washington’s latest expression of readiness for talks with Tehran without any preconditions is wordplay which is not to be taken as a yardstick for action,” Abbas Mousavi, the ministry spokesman, was quoted as saying.

“The yardstick for U.S. intention for negotiations is a change in general approach and actual behavior toward the Iranian nation,” Mousavi added, in a response to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks on talks with Iran.

Pompeo’s emphasis on the maintenance of “maximum pressure” on Iran indicates that Washington is adopting the same “wrong approach” of the past, the Iranian spokesman noted.

A day earlier, Pompeo said in Switzerland that the United States is “prepared to engage in a conversation with Iran with no preconditions.”

But Washington would continue working to rein in Iran’s “malign activity,” he added.

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