Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration is always ready for fair and honest negotiations, but not if sitting for talks means “surrender”.
“We will never miss the chance of negotiation. I declare that as long as I’m responsible for the executive duties of the country, we are always ready for just and legal negotiations where the Iranian nation and its rights are fully respected, in order to solve the problems,” Rouhani said on Wednesday.
“But at the same time we are not ready to sit at the table of surrender under the name of negotiations. We fully understand what negotiation means, what surrender means,” he added.
“Surrender is not acceptable to us, to our nation, and to our Constitution. But we have always been, and we are now, ready for just and respectful negotiations that lead to a fair result.”
“We have talks and negotiations with European and non-European countries through letters and phone conversations. We haven’t reached a desirable point yet. They have offered to lift some of the sanctions in exchange for some actions on our part. We haven’t accepted them so far because they have not been balanced offers,” Rouhani went on to say.
His comments came amid growing tensions between Iran and the West, particularly after the IRGC’s recent shoot-down of an intrusive US drone in the Persian Gulf, and its seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker, which came a month after a similar move by the UK against an Iranian supertanker in Gibraltar.
In his Wednesday remarks, Rouhani said if the UK stops its illegal move to keep the Iranian tanker in Gibraltar, “they will receive an appropriate response from Iran.”
He also warned that the Strait of Hormuz is no place for joke or playing with international regulations.
Rouhani said the IRGC’s seizure of the UK oil tanker was a professional and precise move, and the world must be grateful to the IRGC for ensuring the security of the Persian Gulf.
Iran confiscated the UK oil tanker Stena Impero on Friday night for breaching international maritime regulations while passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
The tanker was transferred to the port of Iran’s southern city of Bandar Abbas for maritime casualty investigation.