11:42 GMT +319 August 2019
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    U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gestures during his and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's joint news conference after their talks in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, Russia May 14, 2019

    Iran Calls US Offer for Talks With 'No Preconditions' 'Word-Play', Wants Action

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    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has held a meeting with Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis in Bern, Switzerland where the two are discussing a variety of issues including China and Iran.

    Washington-Tehran relations

    The Iranian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson Abbas Mousavi has stated that Tehran is expecting a change in the US' behaviour rather than just its rhetoric, according to Mehr News. Mousavi emphasised that the change of the US' conduct was "the criterion required for any talks to take place". The spokesperson added that Pompeo was "playing with words".

    Mousavi noted that the US' policy of maintaining maximum pressure against Iran, reiterated by Pompeo, shows a continuation of their same erroneous approach "that needs reform."    

    The rebuke comes as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the US is willing to engage in dialogue with Iran without preconditions.     

    The US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said in the course of his talks with the Swiss foreign minister that Washington is ready to have a conversation with the Islamic Republic when it 'behaves like a normal nation'.  He added that the problems in US-Iranian bilateral ties stem from the 40 years of Islamic regime in Iran, not Washington's sanctions. 

    READ MORE: Iran Willing to Talk if Other Side Shows Respect, Follows Int'l Rules — Rouhani

    He applauded Switzerland's efforts of representing missing and detained citizens in Iran, adding that the repatriation of detained US citizens is President Trump's top foreign policy priority.

    At the same time, Pompeo pledged to pursue efforts to combat Iran's 'malign' policy.

    On the same day, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reacted to Washington's proposal to negotiate without pre-conditions, saying that the US authorities actually had left the negotiating table, and the talks "should return to [their] normal state".

    READ MORE: US Forces in Mideast Will Be 'Annihilated', Region Will 'Burn', if Iran Attacked, Hezbollah Warns    

    Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated that Tehran is willing to pursue dialogue with the US provided that the other side shows respect and follows international rules.    

    Tehran lambasted Washington's moves, cautioning it against trying to attack the country and vowing retaliation in response to any aggression. At the same time, Iranian leader Ali Khamenei stated that Iran seeks no war with the US.    

    US-China Trade

    Touching upon the issue of China, Mike Pompeo has stated that allies need to recognise the security risks of dealing with China.

    The senior official said that the US will try to explore a bilateral trade agreement with China and is hopeful about getting a good outcome. The Swiss minister, in his turn, expressed his country's satisfaction with US-Chinese commitment to a potential trade deal.  

    READ MORE: Economist Reveals What'll Happen if China DUMPS US Treasury Bonds Amid Trade War  

    Ignazio added that he had discussed the role his country could play in relations between the US, China and Russia. 

    The United States and China have been trying to overcome disagreements that emerged in the wake of US President Donald Trump's decision last June to impose 25 percent tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in a bid to fix the trade deficit. Since then, the sides have exchanged several rounds of duties.

    The latest hit was made by Washington in May when $200 billion worth of Chinese goods were subjected to the 25 percent tariff fee. Beijing retaliated by hiking tariffs on $60 billion worth of US imports starting from June 1.

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    Mike Pompeo, Iran, China, United States, Switzerland
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