Pompeo’s call for interview with Iranian media lacks ‘honesty’: Tehran

July 29, 2019 - 14:32

TEHRAN – Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi has reacted to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s call to be interviewed by Iranian media outlets, saying Iranian journalists have frequently invited him and other U.S. officials for interviews, but they have flatly refused the offers.

“As far as I know, Iranian journalists have frequently invited him and some other American officials for interviews, but they rejected all of them,” Mousavi said during a press conference on Monday.

Pompeo said in an interview on Thursday that he would be willing to travel to Tehran to address the Iranian people about U.S. foreign policy.

The U.S. secretary of state likened a trip to Tehran to how Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif communicates with the American public during his trips to the United Nations in New York. 

“Sure, if that’s the call, happily go there,” Pompeo said. “I’d like a chance to go, not do propaganda but speak the truth to the Iranian people about what it is their leadership has done and how it has harmed Iran.”

The Foreign Ministry spokesman says Pompeo’s offer for talks with Iranian media outlets is “a passive move, in which we do not see any honesty and seriousness.”

Mousavi said it is amusing yet rather strange that the U.S. secretary of state refers to Zarif’s trips to New York to draw such conclusion.

“First of all, their action is a defensive one in opposition to Dr. Zarif’s offensive actions in his trips to New York and his direct conversation with the American public,” he stated.

Secondly, he continued, this is “a passive move, in which we do not see any honesty and seriousness. It is similar to their rhetoric in the past two years about holding talks, while we are certain that they are not after a serious agreement.”

The spokesman highlighted the fact that Tehran and Washington do not have diplomatic relations, therefore Zarif’s trips are not to the U.S., but rather “he travels to New York, which is home to the headquarters of the United Nations, for international affairs and this has nothing to do with the U.S. government.”

Based on an agreement between the U.S. government and the UN, the United States is obligated to facilitate the foreign minister’s visit to the UN for international affairs, he stated.

Press TV’s Marzieh Hashemi can interview Pompeo: government

Commenting on the matter, government spokesman Ali Rabiei said on Sunday that Press TV anchor Marzieh Hashemi can carry out an interview with Pompeo.

The remarks came while Zarif, in his latest visit to New York, was subject to tight U.S. travel restrictions, under which he could only travel between the United Nations, the Iranian UN mission, the Iranian UN ambassador’s residence and John F. Kennedy airport.

According to reports, all Iranian diplomats and their families were also subject to the same restrictions in New York.

“It is certainly not a friendly action. It puts the members of the mission and their families under basically inhuman conditions. But for me it’s fine because I don’t have any work anywhere other than the three buildings,” Zarif told reporters at the United Nations.

Rabiei said at his Sunday press conference that “whenever the U.S. tried to restrict our diplomacy, our diplomats, especially Mr. Zarif, didn’t allow it.”

“Zarif’s visits to several American and African countries and his presence on different media outlets made U.S. secretary of state ask for interviews with Iranian media outlets,” he said.

However, the spokesman added that Iran is ready “to make this happen and our journalist Mr. Marzieh Hashemi can have an interview with Mr. Pompeo.”

Hashemi is a 59-year-old American-born Muslim convert who has lived in Iran for years. She received worldwide recognition in January, when she was jailed in the U.S. without charge for days and later freed amid public outcry.

She was detained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri on January 13 while in the U.S. to visit her ill brother and other family members. She was released on January 23 after some 10 days of detention without charge at a Washington, DC, facility.


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