Iran’s Rouhani: No Talks With U.S. Until Sanctions Lifted

DUBAI (Reuters) -
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends the Inauguration ceremony for National Action on Housing Construction Scheme in Tehran, Tuesday. (Official Presidential website/Handout via Reuters)

Iran will not talk to the United States until all sanctions imposed on Tehran are lifted, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, a day after President Donald Trump said he would meet his Iranian counterpart to try to end a nuclear standoff.

Trump said on Monday he would meet Iran‘s president under the right circumstances to end a confrontation over Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six powers and that talks were underway to see how countries could open credit lines to keep Iran‘s economy afloat.

Rouhani said Iran was always ready to hold talks. “But first the U.S. should act by lifting all illegal, unjust and unfair sanctions imposed on Iran.”

Speaking at a G-7 summit in the French resort of Biarritz, Trump ruled out lifting economic sanctions to compensate for losses suffered by Iran. European parties to the deal have struggled to calm the deepening confrontation between Iran and the United States since Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 nuclear deal with world powers and reimposed sanctions on the Iranian economy.

Iran has scaled back its commitments under the pact in retaliation to U.S. sanctions.

“We will continue to scale back our commitments under the 2015 deal if our interests are not guaranteed,” said Rouhani in a speech broadcast live. “Tehran has never wanted nuclear weapons.” Trump and Rouhani are both due to attend the United Nations General Assembly in September.