President Rouhani rules out bilateral talks with US under sanctions
Iran Press TV
Tue Sep 3, 2019 09:24AM
President Hassan Rouhani says Iran has never had any plan to enter bilateral negotiations with the US, reiterating that talks will be possible within the framework of the P5+1 group of world states if Washington agrees to lift all sanctions against the Islamic Republic.
"We never had nor do we have any decision to hold bilateral talks with the US at any stage. There have been many offers [for such talks], but our answer is always negative," Rouhani said while addressing a parliamentary session on Tuesday.
Rouhani said enemies imagined that they could bring Iran to its knees in six months by unleashing an unprecedented campaign of economic pressure and sanctions against the nation, but their calculations turned out to be wrong.
There was a plot, 16 months ago, to impose severe sanctions against Iran with the aim of weakening its economy and making the Islamic Republic surrender in six months, Rouhani said.
That plan, however, failed, said the president, adding, "They (enemies) have also come to realize that they cannot bring the Iranian nation to its knees with maximum pressure," he said.
The Iranian chief executive further said that the US's efforts to send mediators to negotiate with Tehran indicate Washington's "desperation" in the face of the Islamic Republic's resistance.
Rouhani expressed confidence that the Iranian nation will emerge victorious from the "economic, psychological and political war" that the US has imposed against the Islamic Republic.
"It is now clear to everyone that America's wrong policies will lead nowhere, and the grand nation of Iran will stand up to such plots with patience and resistance and achieve results," he added.
US President Donald Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018 and re-imposed harsh sanctions against the Islamic Republic in defiance of global criticism.
Despite exerting "maximum pressure" on Iran, Trump has repeatedly offered to meet Iranian authorities and hold bilateral talks with no pre-conditions. Iran, however, says it will not negotiate under pressure.
The Iranian president, however, said that if the US agreed to lift all its sanctions, then Iran would agree to include America in the talks with the other five world powers still remaining in the nuclear deal.
"It doesn't matter to us if the US returns to the JCPAO or not, but if it lifts all sanctions, it is still possible for the US to be part of the P5+1 sessions as before, on the condition that it first removes all sanctions," said Rouhani.
He said that the Islamic Republic "has never closed and will never close the door on diplomacy."
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani criticized the European signatories to the nuclear pact for failing to abide by their commitments under the accord after the US left the agreement.
Rouhani said that Iran would take the third step in reducing commitments under the nuclear deal in the coming days if Europe continues to fail.
If the five remaining signatories to the JCPOA can keep up their end of the bargain, then Iran "may reconsider" reducing its commitments to the deal.
However, he said, "if a final agreement is not reached by Thursday, we will announce the third stage of reducing commitments [to the nuclear deal]."
Iran is holding negotiations with the EU for facilitating trade, he said, adding that the basis of the talks is that Iran should be able to sell its oil and receive revenues.
"This will ease the situation for us to decide against making more cuts to our commitments [to the JCPOA]," said Rouhani.
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