No link between JCPOA, Iran-US ties: Rouhani
Iran Press TV
Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:23PM
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has dismissed claims that the nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of world countries, including the US, in July has had an impact on the Islamic Republic's ties with the US, differentiating between the two issues.
"The nuclear deal is one thing and the relationships with the US is another," President Rouhani said in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, released on Thursday, in Tehran.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia - plus Germany finalized the text of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) over Iran's nuclear program in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 14.
Under the JCPOA, limits will be put on Iran's nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic.
President Rouhani described the problems in Iran-US relations as "long-standing," saying they started following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and "have persisted" since then.
The Iranian president said that even following the signing of the JCPOA the US will not lift all sanctions against Tehran but only those related to the nuclear program.
"Therefore, the relationship between Iran and the US is a different issue. But the way we'll implement the agreement can have an impact on the future," he pointed out.
He emphasized that if the JCPOA is implemented well it will lay the foundations for 'lesser tensions' with the US and create 'the conditions for a new era.'
"But if the Americans don't meet their nuclear deal commitments, then our relationship will certainly be the same as in the past," the Iranian president said.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has ruled out any negotiations between Tehran and Washington on matters other than the nuclear issue.
Iran "did not and will not hold talks with the US on issues other than nuclear negotiations," the Leader said on September 9, adding that the US animosity toward Iran cannot be concealed.
"One [US official] smiles, while another draws up a [legislative] bill against Iran."
New phase in Iran-Italy ties
The Iranian president also said Tehran and Rome have had "long good relationships economically, culturally and politically" and expressed hope that his trip will start a new phase in ties.
"As to international and political issues, the Italian leaders have always taken a moderate stance on us," Rouhani said.
He added that Iran regards Italy as a partner and a friend in Europe.
The Iranian president's remarks came ahead of his scheduled visit to Italy and France, which would mark the first visit of an Iranian president to Europe in a decade.
President Rouhani will arrive in Rome on Saturday at the head of a high-ranking delegation to hold talks with senior Italian officials, including President Sergio Mattarella and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.
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