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Talks Possible if US Shows Honesty and Integrity

It was Donald Trump and his administration that walked away and abandoned the international nuclear agreement. Their sanctions and hostile actions are against the Iranian people and Iran’s national interests
Talks Possible if US Shows Honesty and Integrity Talks Possible if US Shows Honesty and Integrity

Iran is open to negotiations if the United States shows "sincerity", President Hassan Rouhani said late on Monday, but added that such talks would be meaningless while the country is being burdened with more sanctions. 

"It was Trump and his administration that left the talks and turned their back on negotiations. The sanctions and the actions they take are against the people of Iran and Iran's national interests," the president said in a live TV interview hours before the US renewed sanctions on Tehran, his official website reported. 

He made the comments in reference to statements by US President Donald Trump and his senior aides raising the possibility of face-to-face talks with Rouhani with "no preconditions". 

  Sincere Intentions 

Rouhani said his administration has always been in favor of peace, dialogue and interaction and would welcome talks with the Americans if they are "sincere" in their intentions. 

"The person who is claiming to be willing to negotiate today has withdrawn from [many] international agreements, from the Paris Agreement [on climate change] to its business commitments with other countries without any negotiations," Rouhani said, adding that the US should reverse the economic  sanctions before any talks could begin. 

"If somebody thrusts a knife into an opponent or in an enemy's arm and says 'we want to negotiate', the response would be that they must first pull out the knife, cast it aside and then come to the negotiating table." 

  Contradictory Steps 

He said Trump's words contradict his action of reimposing sanctions, which are targeting the Iranian people, including children and the sick. 

"I don't have preconditions," Rouhani said, adding that Tehran is ready to engage in talks with the Americans to determine how they should compensate Iran for decades of sanctions and intervention in its internal affairs.  

  Missile, Nuclear Programs 

John Bolton, the ultra-hardline national security adviser to the White House, said Monday that the only way for Iran to avert sanctions would be to agree to negotiations over its missile and nuclear program. 

Asked on Fox News what the leaders of Iran could do, Bolton said, "They could take up the president's offer to negotiate with them, to give up their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs fully and really verifiably not under the onerous terms of the Iran nuclear deal, which really are not satisfactory." 

  Home Consumption 

Rouhani said the US is ratcheting up sanctions and rhetoric against Iran partly for domestic reasons and as November's midterm elections approach.

"Through psychological warfare, they want to create skepticism among the Iranian people and use it in the Congress elections in the coming months." 

Observers of various stripes in the US have said in recent weeks that the embattled Trump is aware of the serious political and legal problems he is facing at  home and is desperate for some form of compromise with Iran and North Korea. 

  National Unity 

The president said the Iranian nation can and will be able to resist the economic sanctions and make the US regret its moves if “they close ranks and show solidarity and resilience. 

"We can put an end to the sanctions. It is in our own hands. If you ask me how long the sanctions will continue, I will tell you that it is up to us, I mean all branches of the government. If the executive branch, other branches of government, the armed forces and the people close ranks, we can put an end to the sanctions” sooner rather than later, he told state TV. 

  Peaceful Policy 

Rouhani said some people are under the false impression that the Islamic Republic is seeking to create tensions and conflicts. 

Iran's policies were, are and will remain “peaceful but the country will stand up to bullying and not allow anyone to undermine its rights and interests.” 

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