WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump could meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the upcoming United Nations meeting, with “no preconditions.”
Pompeo made the comments at a news briefing to unveil new sanctions on groups including Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“He is prepared to meet with no preconditions,” Pompeo said when asked about the possibility of a meeting at the U.N. General Assembly later this month, echoing comments Trump made on Monday.
The Trump administration is executing what it calls a “maximum-pressure” campaign to curtail any work by Iran toward developing nuclear weapons, using diplomatic and economic measures such as sanctions.
Trump’s abrupt firing of his national security adviser, John Bolton, indicates that the pressure strategy is failing, an adviser to Rouhani wrote in a tweet on Tuesday.
Rouhani has said Iran, which denies seeking nuclear weapons, would not talk to the United States until Washington lifted the sanctions it had reimposed on Tehran after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear deal. But the White House has held firm on not conducting talks with preset conditions.
Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Lisa Lambert; Editing by Franklin Paul and Jonathan Oatis