Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran’s answer to an offer of bilateral talks with the United States will always be negative, but the US can join multilateral negotiations between Iran and other world powers.
Rouhani also said if Washington seeks to enter into P5+1 negotiations with Iran like before, it should first lift all sanctions.
The president made the comments on Tuesday during a parliament session to approve new ministers for Education Ministry and Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Ministry.
His comments come as his spokesman Ali Rabiei had earlier suggested President Rouhani could still meet US counterpart Donald Trump if it served Iran’s interests.
Rouhani earlier played down the likelihood of a meeting, saying the Americans first needed to lift all sanctions against Iran.
However, the government spokesman hinted on Monday 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 said.
In his Tuesday remarks, Rouhani further referred to the European countries’ failure to fulfill their commitments as per the 2015 nuclear deal, warning that Iran will start the 3rd phase of JCPOA commitment reduction on Thursday if the EU fails to act.
He also added that If Europe fulfils an important part of its obligations, Iran may reconsider reducing commitments.
He underlined that if the EU buys Iran’s oil and Tehran receives the revenues, the situation will be different.
Earlier in his phone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been leading efforts to de-escalate tensions between Tehran and Washington, Rouhani stressed that unfortunately after this unilateral move by the US, European countries did not take concrete measures to implement their commitments, adding that the contents of JCPOA are unchangeable and all parties must be committed to its contents.
Tehran has already resumed parts of nuclear activities that were curbed under the deal. Iran wants the European parties to the deal to save the accord by shielding it from US sanctions.