No Rouhani-Trump meeting on agenda: Iran

September 16, 2019

TEHRAN - Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi confirmed on Monday that a meeting between President Hassan Rouhani and U.S. President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly is not on the agenda.

“As Mr. Rouhani said, we do not seek to hold meeting just for the sake of taking a photo,” he said during a press conference.

He added, “As we have announced before, if the United States returns to the JCPOA [the 2015 nuclear deal] and stop economic terrorism, it can return to the meeting of the [JCPOA] Joint Commission and hold talks.”

In August, Rouhani said, “If someone just seeks to take photo with Hassan Rouhani, it is not possible unless they remove all the cruel sanctions and respect the Iranian people’s rights.”

Rouhani noted that there will be no change in Iran-U.S. relations without lifting of all sanctions and a change in the wrong path that Washington has taken.

In a phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday, Rouhani said it makes no sense to hold talks with the United States when sanctions against Iran are in place.

“From the viewpoint of the government, parliament and the people of Iran, negotiations with the United States make no sense when sanctions remain,” Rouhani said.

‘Trump’s words do not last over 24 hours’

Mousavi also said that no one can count on what Trump says, because his words “do not last for over 24 hours”.

He also said Iran does not care about the firing of John Bolton, Trump’s national security advisor, as Tehran only attaches importance to actions.

Trump ousted Bolton on September 10. 

Bolton was notoriously famous for his ultra-hawkish stance toward Iran.

‘It is regrettable that Europe needs permission to fulfil its commitments’

Mousavi also said it is “regrettable” that the European countries need permission from Washington to fulfil their commitments under the JCPOA.

France has proposed offering Iran about $15 billion in credit lines until year-end if Tehran comes fully back into compliance with the nuclear deal, a move that hinges on Washington not blocking it, according to Reuters.

Mousavi noted that the Europeans have not been able to guarantee Iran’s benefits of the deal yet and Tehran may take the fourth step in reducing its commitments.

Trump abandoned the nuclear deal in May 2018 and imposed the harshest ever sanctions on Tehran. However, Trump has been repeatedly calling for dialogue with Iran.

Trump has announced that his administration is putting “maximum pressure” against Iran to bring Tehran to the negotiating table to rewrite the JCPOA. 

On May 8, exactly one year after the U.S. pulled out of the JCPOA, Tehran began reducing its commitments to the agreement at bi-monthly intervals.

In follow-up to that deadline, on July 7 Iran announced that it has started enriching uranium to a higher purity than the 3.67% as the Europeans missed the 60-day deadline to devise a concrete mechanism to protect the country from the U.S. sanctions.

In a letter to European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on September 5, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced that as a third step Iran stops implementing all commitments related to nuclear research and development (R&D).

“The Iranian foreign minister sent a letter to Mogherini, announcing that the Islamic Republic of Iran stops all commitments in the area of research and development under the JCPOA because of consequences of the United States’ withdrawal from the deal and the three European countries’ failure to implement their commitments,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Mousavi said.

“In this letter, it has been said that this action is in line with Iran’s rights under the JCPOA and within the paragraph 36 of it and is in response to violation of the JCPOA during the past 16 months,” Mousavi added.

NA/PA

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