Outgoing Iranian president claims he averted war by joining nuclear talks

During his last TV appearance as president, Rouhani said UN Security Council was ready for war when he chose to enter into negotiations.

Dan Verbin ,

Iran nuclear program
Iran nuclear program

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a television interview on Monday night that French President Francois Hollande told him that a war between the West and Iran had been narrowly averted by Rouhani’s decision to engage in the negotiations that led to the Iran nuclear deal in 2015, reported the BBC Monitoring service.

According to Rouhani, Hollandק told him in 2013 that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) had "definitively decided to go to war" and that it was only his choice to participate in the talks for the JCPOA (the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also known as the Iran nuclear deal) that averted war.

Though Rouhani made the claim, it is notable that Iran and the US had already begun to hold secret talks in Oman starting in March of 2013. Those talks turned into the JCPOA negotiations.

The BBC previously reported that at least five secret meetings took place in early 2013 in Oman, with a small US delegation consisting of cabinet secretaries and foreign policy advisors secretly flying to the nation on a military plane to meet the Iranian delegation.

The initial goal of the talks was to see if the US and Iran could agree on a process for continued negotiations.

The use of the Oman location was reportedly put together by Secretary of State John Kerry.

The TV appearance was Rouhani’s last as President of Iran.