Rouhani: ‘If Trump wants to talk to Iran, he first should return to nuclear deal’

September 25, 2018 - 13:24

TEHRAN - President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Iran would only talk to U.S. President Donald Trump if his administration proved its trustworthiness and reversed its decision on the 2015 nuclear agreement.

In May, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the international nuclear deal with Iran and reimposed sanctions against Tehran. The first batch of sanctions were imposed on August and the second round, which include Iran’s oil sales and central bank, will go into force in November.

Rouhani, who is in New York for the annual United Nations General Assembly gathering of world leaders, said economic pressure would not force his country to the negotiating table.

 “If Trump wants to talk to Iran, then he first should return to the nuclear deal,” Rouhani said, according to Reuters.

In July, Trump said he would be willing to meet Iran’s president without preconditions to discuss how to improve ties. Iran dismissed the offer.

Rouhani also warned the United States against pursuing hostile policies toward Iran, saying preventing Iran from exporting oil would be “very dangerous”.

Under the accord, most international sanctions against Tehran were lifted in 2016 in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear activities.

“Imposing sanctions on Iran to prevent us from selling our oil will be very dangerous ... and it cannot succeed,” ISNA quoted Rouhani as saying in a meeting with senior editors of foreign media in New York.

 “The U.S. sanctions harms ordinary Iranians but also it puts pressure on foreign companies who have to withdraw from Iran’s market, fearing America’s sanctions,” Rouhani said.

Iran has threatened to withdraw from the nuclear accord unless European nations move to neutralize the consequences of Washington’s exit.

“Iran will remain committed to the deal ... as long as other members remain committed to the pact and fulfill their promises,” Rouhani said.

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