DUBAI — U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that the Trump administration would be ready to negotiate with Iran without preconditions, even as an American fighter bomber and aircraft carrier practiced strike operations in the Arabian Sea.
Iran sent similarly mixed messages over the weekend as weeks of tensions between the countries continued to smolder. Pompeo was responding to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s expression of willingness to negotiate with the U.S. as long as his country wasn’t bullied into doing so. But earlier Sunday, an Iranian military official warned that all U.S. military forces in the Gulf were within range of his country’s missiles.
Pompeo spoke after meeting with officials in Switzerland.
“We’re prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions,” he said. “But the American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of the Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue.”
The U.S. has been beefing up its military presence in the Gulf in response to unspecified threats of attacks from Iran. The joint exercise between a B-52 bomber and an aircraft carrier was reported by the Associated Press.