Rouhani: Window on talks with US isn't closed

Iranian President says Tehran hasn’t closed window on talks with US, but again conditions them on withdrawal of sanctions.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Tehran hasn’t closed the window on talks with the US, The Associated Press reported.

At the same time, Rouhani reiterated his government’s standing condition that the Trump administration lift sanctions imposed on Iran before any negotiations can take place.

Rouhani said that “whenever the US lifts the unfair sanctions, the heads of 5+1 nations can immediately meet and we have no problem” with that.

He added Iran has no other option but to defy those who imposed sanctions on Tehran, “but we have not closed the window on talks.”

The tensions between the US and Iran have escalated since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

In response to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and its imposition of sanctions, Iran has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

In October it was reported that Trump and Rouhani agreed on a four-point plan presented by French President Emmanuel Macron at the United Nations, but Rouhani refused to meet with Trump after the American president refused to first lift all sanctions on Iran.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared last month that there is no point to any negotiations with the United States.

"Even if Iranian officials were naive enough to engage in negotiations with the US, they would certainly not achieve anything," he said at the time.