On Thursday, July 25, Pompeo said he was willing to go to Iran for talks amid tensions between Tehran and Washington.
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.”
Peyman Jebelli, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting’s deputy head and the CEO of IRIB’s World Service said in an interview on Sunday, “We have neither made a request to have an interview [with Pompeo], nor have any plan to arrange an interview with US Secretary of State Pompeo.”
Jebelli’s remarks came after Ali Rabiei, the spokesman for the Iranian administration, said in his weekly press conference earlier in the day that if Pompeo is willing to talk to Iranian reporters, he can have an interview with Press TV correspondent and anchor, Marziyeh Hashemi, who was detained by the US government on baseless grounds during a visit to meet with her family in the United States in January 2019.
“Pompeo has said that he is willing to talk to Iranian reporters. We say that we have Ms. Marziyeh Hashemi, who can talk to him and we are not going to avoid this issue,” he added.
Hashemi, a 59-year-old American-born Muslim convert who has lived in Iran for years, was detained at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri on January 13th while in the US to visit her ill brother and other family members.
She was transferred to a detention facility in Washington, DC, where she was initially forced to remove her hijab and only offered non-halal food.
‘Bolton, Pompeo behind arrest of Marzieh Hashemi’Analysts believe US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US National Security Advisor John Bolton are those who have ordered the arrest of Marzieh Hashemi, a journalist and anchor working for Iran’s English-language Press TV television news network.
The FBI declined to comment on her arrest, but the US government confirmed that she had been arrested as a “material witness.”
Hashemi’s arrest and suffering in US jail drew condemnations inside the US and abroad, sparking rallies in several countries.
She was eventually released 10 days later without any charge and returned to Iran.