• Wednesday, Oct 05, 2022
  • Last Update : 09:54 am

Iran rules out direct US talks

  • Published at 08:23 pm September 3rd, 2019
WEB_Int'l- Iran rules out direct US talks
Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and began reimposing crippling sanctions Reuters

In an address to parliament, Rouhani said any dialogue with the US would have to fall within the framework of the group of major powers that agreed the landmark nuclear deal with Iran in 2015

President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday ruled out holding any bilateral talks with the United States and threatened to further cut Iran's commitments to a nuclear deal within days.

In an address to parliament, Rouhani said any dialogue with the US would have to fall within the framework of the group of major powers that agreed the landmark nuclear deal with Iran in 2015.

Rouhani also said Iran was ready to further reduce its commitments to the accord "in the coming days" if current negotiations with European nations yield no results by Thursday.

Tehran and Washington have been at loggerheads since May last year when US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal and began reimposing crippling sanctions.

The arch-foes were on the cusp of confrontation in June when Iran downed a US drone and Trump ordered retaliatory strikes before cancelling them at the last minute.

France has been leading efforts to calm the situation, with President Emmanuel Macron expressing hope during G7 talks in late August of organising a meeting between Rouhani and Trump.

"Maybe there has been a misunderstanding. We've said it several times and we repeat it -- there has been no decision to hold bilateral talks with the US," said Rouhani.

"In principle, we don't want bilateral talks with the United States," he told parliament at a session convened to approve his picks for two ministerial posts.

"If the United States lifts all sanctions it would be possible to talk to them during 5+1 meetings as in the past," he said, referring to the powers involved in negotiating the 2015 deal.

"We have received several proposals (to have talks with the United States) and our answer has always been negative."

Countermeasures

Iran has riposted by scaling back its nuclear commitments in response to the US withdrawal from the deal, which gave it the promise of relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear programme.

It has already ramped up its uranium enrichment and stockpiles, and Rouhani said Tuesday a "third step will be enacted in the coming days" unless the remaining parties to the deal honour their own commitments.

"If by Thursday these negotiations yield no results, we will announce the third step of the reduction of our commitments," he said.

On Friday, the International Atomic Energy Agency said just over 10% of Iran's uranium stockpile was enriched to 4.5%, above the 3.67% limit stipulated in the 2015 deal.

The UN watchdog said Iran's total stockpile of uranium, which under the accord should be no more than the equivalent of 300kg of uranium hexafluoride, stood at roughly 360kg.

But Rouhani stressed the Iranian countermeasures were reversible.

"Our steps have been taken in such a way that it doesn't take much time to get back to the starting point," he said.

Rouhani voiced regret over the failure of European governments to fulfil pledges they made during negotiations.

'US betrayal'

"Unfortunately after the US betrayal the Europeans haven't acted on their commitments or couldn't in some cases they could have acted but did not," he said.

"What we are asking of the other countries is that they continue to buy our oil.

"We can continue negotiations even after the third step," he added.

Rouhani has had a series of phone calls with Macron in recent weeks aimed at salvaging the nuclear deal.

The French president has been trying to convince the United States to offer Iran some sort of relief from sanctions it has imposed on the Islamic republic since pulling out of the deal.

A conservative Iranian lawmaker said Macron had proposed offering Iran a $15-billion credit line on condition it returns to the fold.

"Macron has proposed Iran stop its third step for now in exchange for this sum, and maybe retreat from its first and second steps to the initial situation," said Ali Motahari, quoted late Sunday by Iran's Tasnim news agency.

The 2015 deal was brokered between Iran and the so-called 5+1 - UN Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.

Following Rouhani's speech, parliament approved his nominations for the posts of education and tourism minister, Mohsen Hajimirzaei and Ali Asghar Mounesan, respectively.

50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail