President Hassan Rouhani of Iran has said he was willing to return to the negotiating table with the United States, but only if President Donald Trump returned to the 2015 nuclear deal.
Addressing a gathering of Gilan Province officials in the northern city of Rasht, Rouhani said he had been contacted eight times by U.S. officials seeking to restart talks but argued “that the United States must first return to the nuclear deal and compensate it.” He said that he “was not afraid” to negotiate, as Tehran had experience in the field and had even won cases against Washington in international courts.
“We have succeeded against the United States and we do not fear war,” he added, expressing stiff resistance to the Trump administration’s sanctions while leaving the door open for future talks.
The Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was a historic agreement signed between the U.S. and Iran, as well as China, the European Union, France, Germany, Russia and the United Kingdom. Applauded internationally, except by a select few powers such as Israel and Saudi Arabia, the accord restricted Tehran’s nuclear production in exchange for Washington lifting sanctions.
The deal was seen as the first diplomatic breakthrough between two nations hostile to one another since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which ousted Iran’s Western-backed monarchy in favor of the current revolutionary Shiite Muslim leadership. Hardliners in both Washington and Tehran opposed the deal, however, and Trump’s 2016 election put new pressure on Rouhani’s administration at home and abroad.
Read more: News Week
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