TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Iran’s Foreign Ministry described Washington’s latest expression of readiness for talks with Tehran without any preconditions as a wordplay which is not to be taken as a criterion for action.

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“To the Islamic Republic of Iran, a word-play and expression of hidden intentions under the guise of new words is not a criterion for action; rather, the criterion is a change in Washington’s general approach and actual behavior towards the Iranian nation,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who said on Sunday that Washington was prepared for unconditional talks with Iran.

Pompeo’s emphasis on the need to continue a campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran indicates that Washington is adopting the same wrong approach of the past, which needs to be rectified, Mousavi added in his statement on Sunday.

The top US diplomat has backed off from a 12-point list of “basic requirements” he had already put forth as a prerequisite for a new deal with Iran.

“We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We are ready to sit down with them,” Pompeo announced in Switzerland.

He also said that the United States would continue working to rein in what he called Iran’s “malign activity.”