UPDATED 2:10 PM PT – Sat. May 25, 2019
Mike Pompeo’s Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif claims that he’s never directly spoken with the secretary of state.
On Friday, the foreign minister said the main reason for the lack of communication was due to Pompeo’s “tendency to insult” him.
A State Department spokeswoman deflected concern over Zarif’s comments, explaining the administration’s “high-pressure campaign is aimed at forcing Iran to the negotiating table.”
She added, “if the Iranians are willing to engage on changing their ways to behave like a normal nation, we are willing to talk to them.”
Meantime, the foreign minister also took aim at the White House for its recent deployment of 15,000 troops to the Middle East.
In a statement Saturday, Zarif called the president’s move dangerous for peace in the region, adding the U.S. is “inflating tensions with Iran.”
His comments come after President Trump announced he will send troops to assist our Middle Eastern allies, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the UAE.
He said the move was meant as a “deterrent” to Iran’s military, and will help guarantee the safety of U.S. forces.