WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday that he was willing to go to Iran for talks amid tensions between Tehran and Washington, but also called on Japan, Britain and other nations to join a maritime force to guard oil tankers sailing through the Strait of Hormuz.
Asked if he would be willing to go to Tehran, Pompeo said in an interview with Bloomberg TV: “Sure. If that’s the call, I’d happily go there… I would welcome the chance to speak directly to the Iranian people.”
Tensions between Iran and the United States have ratcheted up since last year, when US President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iranian nuclear deal, formally called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, saying it was not strong enough. Washington also reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
The relationship between the two countries has come under increased strain over the past three months following attacks on oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz off the coast of Iran.