Iran reports progress in talks on nuclear deal

Iran says its views have come closer to those of France on ways to save the 2015 nuclear deal.

Elad Benari ,

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani
Reuters

Iran said on Monday its views have been converging with those of France on ways to save the 2015 nuclear deal which is at risk of unravelling since the US withdrew last year, AFP reports.

Government spokesman Ali Rabiei also suggested President Hassan Rouhani could meet US counterpart Donald Trump if it served Iran's interests, while cautioning there was no need to meet an "agitator" in the current circumstances.

Rouhani has had a series of phone calls with French President Emmanuel Macron in recent weeks aimed at salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The European signatories have vowed to help Iran evade the economic sanctions imposed by the US, shielding companies doing business with the rogue state in an effort to preserve the Iran nuclear deal.

Macron has been trying to convince the United States to offer Iran some sort of relief from sanctions it has imposed on the Islamic republic since pulling out of the deal in May last year.

"In the past few weeks, there have been serious negotiations" between Rouhani and Macron, as well as talks with other European nations, said Rabiei, according to AFP.

"Fortunately, in many areas, our views have come closer together," the government spokesman told a news conference.

Macron expressed hopes during a G7 summit in late August of organizing a meeting between Rouhani and Trump.

While Trump stated that there is a "very good chance" he will meet Rouhani, the Iranian President made clear that he will not meet Trump unless all sanctions against Tehran are unilaterally lifted by the US.

The Iranian government's spokesman hinted on Monday, however, that such a meeting could still happen if it suited Iran's interests.

"The president (Rouhani) still holds the same position that because of national interests, if he's sure that meeting someone will help our people, he will not hold back," Rabiei was quoted as having said.

"In my opinion, the US president's goal for meeting Iran's president is one thing and ours is another. The US president's goal is more for domestic reasons, while we aim to return to what is our right and has been neglected," he added.

He cautioned that "there is no reason for the president to meet an agitator and an economic terrorist in the current situation.”




top