White House: US will not drop Iran sanctions, Trump tells Macron
Iran Press TV
Fri Sep 6, 2019 12:49PM
US President Donald Trump has informed French President Emmanuel Macron that the United States will not lift economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to the White House.
The two presidents also agreed it was essential to "curb Iran's actions threatening freedom of navigation and commerce in the Persian Gulf," the White House claimed in a statement issued late Thursday.
"President Trump reiterated that dropping sanctions against Iran is not going to happen at this time," the statement said.
Macron has sought to arrange a meeting between Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in order to end the tensions between the US and Iran since Trump's withdrawal from the nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
During a joint press conference with Trump last week, Macron said he hoped a meeting between the presidents of Iran and the United States would take place "in the next few weeks."
"I hope [the meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Trump] could take place in the next few weeks," the French president said, adding, "Nothing is for sure, things are eminently fragile."
However, the Iranian president dashed Macron's hopes of a Rouhani-Trump meeting, saying the United States should lift all sanctions before Iran agrees to talks.
"We will not witness any positive development unless the United States abandons its sanctions and corrects the wrong path it has chosen," Rouhani said on August 27.
This week, Rouhani said 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.
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, he added.
Trump pulled his country out of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal 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.
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