Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Posted at: May 22, 2019, 7:37 AM; last updated: May 22, 2019, 7:37 AM (IST)

Iran’s Rouhani rejects talks with Washington

Iran’s Rouhani rejects talks with Washington


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani rejected talks with the United States on Tuesday, after President Donald Trump said Iran would call and ask for negotiations “if and when they are ever ready”.

Tehran and Washington have escalated rhetoric against each other in recent weeks as the US has tightened sanctions with what it says is the goal of pushing Iran to make concessions beyond the terms of its 2015 nuclear deal.

Trump withdrew the United States a year ago from the deal between Iran and global powers, under which Tehran curbed its uranium enrichment capacity, a potential pathway to a nuclear bomb, and won sanctions relief in return.

Trump restored U.S. sanctions on Iran last year and extended them this month, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own. Iran has repeatedly rejected any further negotiations as long as the United States remains outside the nuclear pact.

Trump said on Monday that Iran would be met with “great force” if it attempted anything against US interests in the Middle East. He said reports Washington was trying to set up talks were false, but “Iran will call us if and when they are ever ready”.

Rouhani won two landslide elections in Iran on promises to ease its international isolation. The rial currency lost about 60% of its value in 2018 under the threat of the revived US sanctions, boosting inflation and provoking sporadic demonstrations. Iran has cracked down on businessmen it accuses of profiteering.

Rouhani said the country faced “economic war”, and the govenrment needed more powers to control the economy. — Reuters


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