Washington Must Lift Maximum Pressure Before Seeking Talks
EghtesadOnline: The United States has to ease intense pressure against Iran to show their good faith before proposing to talk with Iranian officials, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
Speaking during a Cabinet meeting, Rouhani stressed that negotiation under "maximum pressure" is impossible and the US will not achieve its objective through this policy.
"The Iranian people are a nation of peace, diplomacy and negotiation … Those who want to bully the Iranian nation through psychological, political and economic pressure must stop this policy," he was quoted as saying by President.ir.
Washington adopted a policy of “maximum pressure” against Iran after it withdrew last year from the 2015 nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, according to Financial Tribune.
Nevertheless, US President Donald Trump and other officials from his administration have repeatedly expressed willingness to meet with Iranian authorities to discuss the issue.
There have been speculations over the past weeks about a possible meeting between Trump and Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.
Tehran has declared firmly that it would not enter into any bilateral talks with the US and negotiations within the framework of P5+1 (the six world powers party to the deal) could take place only when the sanctions are lifted completely.
Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei declared on Tuesday that no negotiation at any level would take place between the Islamic Republic and American officials, "neither in New York, nor elsewhere".
He had described the US offer of negotiations as a "trick" aimed at clearing the way to impose its will on Iran, apart from proving that the “maximum pressure” campaign has been effective.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also told reporters on the sidelines of the Cabinet meeting that Iran's policy is consistent.
"We feel committed to fulfill our international obligations and … this commitment indicates that if others want to interact with us, they need to be committed to their obligations as well," he said.
This means, he explained, that the US needs to return to compliance and show that it is a reliable country, ensuring that "if it is not to be trusted, at least it meets its commitments".
In response to the US pressure, Iran in May started to scale back its compliance with the nuclear deal.
Officials in Tehran have announced that the move is in accordance with JCPOA provisions that allow one party to reduce its compliance, if it is proved that other parties have not fulfilled their obligations.
Rouhani reiterated that Iran still adheres to JCPOA and inspectors from the United Nations nuclear watchdog are still monitoring the operations of Iranian nuclear sites.
"The world needs to know that we are pursuing our activities within the framework of international regulations, the Safeguards Agreement and NPT [Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty]," he said.