EghtesadOnline: Iran sees no prospects for negotiations with the United States as long as it does not change course, a senior official said on Tuesday, a day after US President Donald Trump said a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program is possible.
"Iran pays no attention to words. What matters to us is a change of approach and behavior," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Mousavi told a press briefing in Tehran, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Washington withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran and is ratcheting up sanctions in efforts to strangle Iran's economy by ending its international sales of crude oil.
Late last week, the US administration announced the deployment of 1,500 US troops to the region amid heightened tensions. The US earlier deployed an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers to the Persian Gulf in response to what it claims are Iranian threats to US troops and interests in the region, Financial Tribune reported.
On Monday, Trump said, "I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that's very smart of them, and I think that's a possibility to happen."
He also said the United States is not looking for regime change in Iran, according to Reuters.
"It [Iran] has a chance to be a great country with the same leadership. We aren't looking for regime change—I just want to make that clear."
However, Mousavi said there is "no prospect" of dialogue with the United States as "respect for international agreements" is the basis for any possible negotiations, while adding that it was the US which left the negotiating table, not Iran.
On the proposal put forward by Iran's chief diplomat for signing a non-aggression pact with its Persian Gulf neighbors, the spokesman said the offer is in line with Iran's desire to de-escalate tensions in the region.
Speaking at a Baghdad news conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Mohamed Ali Alhakim, Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said Iran wants to build balanced relations with the Persian Gulf Arab states and has proposed signing such an agreement with them.
Mousavi said countries in the Persian Gulf are among Iran's "most important" neighbors, expressing hope that they will treat the proposal with "goodwill" as it was a "well-intentioned" move.
"Our region is grappling with an unnecessary crisis, which has caused misunderstandings that are being exploited by extra-regional countries. Despite some small disagreements, Iran has announced that it is ready to negotiate with regional countries. This proposal is for countries who wrongly feel threatened by Iran."
Ties With Ankara
Commenting on reports of Turkey not purchasing Iranian oil, he said energy officials are the ones who should comment on the issue but noted that Turkey is a significant trade partner.
"Turkey is one of our important friends, partners and neighbors. Our ties with this neighboring country are comprehensive and strategic," he was quoted as saying by ISNA.
Referring to an unidentified Turkish official, Reuters recently reported that Ankara stopped purchasing Iranian oil as of May after US waivers granted last November to eight buyers expired and will continue to abide by Washington's demand that it halt all imports of crude oil from the Islamic Republic.