Rouhani: Iran “ready for talks” with US if sanctions lifted

Rouhani: Iran “ready for talks” with US if sanctions lifted

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says Tehran is ready to hold talks with Washington if the Trump Administration provides sanctions relief and returns to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

In a televised speech on Sunday (local time), Mr Rouhani said for talks to take place Iran must be allowed to export the same amount of oil as it did prior to the United States’ controversial withdrawal from the multilateral JCPOA.

“We have always believed in talks … if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere,” President Rouhani said.

Mr Rouhani’s offer comes after a leaked diplomatic memo written by outgoing British Ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, claimed President Trump withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal to spite his predecessor Barrack Obama.

In the memo, Sir Kim described the withdrawal as “an act of diplomatic vandalism” that had split Mr Trump’s advisers.

According to the Daily Mail, which published the diplomatic cables, Sir Kim said that the Trump Administration did not have a post-JCPOA plan for Iran.

He wrote:

“The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the president; but on the substance, the administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama’s deal.

“Moreover, they can’t articulate any ‘day-after’ strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region.”

Tensions between the Washington and Tehran have soared since US President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA, which limited Iran’s nuclear activity to civilian applications, such as energy, in exchange for sanctions relief.

In recent months, the poor relations have been exacerbated with both the US and Iranian governments trading barbs which, among other provocative actions, led to Mr Trump recognising Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRCG) as a terrorist organisation and Iran shooting down a US surveillance drone.

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