Tehran: US must change behavior towards Iran; shift in tone not enough
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Tehran: US must change behavior towards Iran; shift in tone not enough

In early May, the Trump administration announced plans to build up Washington’s military presence in the Middle East to counter unspecified Iranian “threats,” shortly after toughening oil sanctions against the Islamic Republic. However, in parallel with his belligerent policies, Trump has, on several occasions in the past weeks, offered to hold talks with Iran. During a visit to Japan on Monday, Trump used a more conciliatory tone, saying the US was not seeking a regime change in Iran and repeating the offer of negotiations. Reacting to Trump’s latest comments, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Seyyed Abbas Mousavi said Tuesday that Tehran “pays no attention to mere words and rhetoric. What matters to us is that this shift in tone will be complemented with a change in [US] behavior and approach.” “We will base our decisions on our own observations as well as the impacts [of US moves] on our country and the region,” the Iranian official added. He censured Washington’s decision to withdraw from a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions against Iran, blaming the “illegal” move for destroying any prospect of negotiations with America. Mousavi further called on Americans to respect international agreements and resume their commitments under the 2015 deal before any offer of negotiations. “Currently, we are not in talks with the US," he said, adding that from Iran's viewpoint, holding any such talks is conditioned on the US returning to the international agreement that it has violated.

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