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Iran’s president says talks with US possible, but not under pressure

Negotiations between Iran and the United States are conceivable, but not under pressure from Washington, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said at a press conference on Sunday.

Tehran, 16 February 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Negotiations between Iran and the United States are conceivable, but not under pressure from Washington, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said at a press conference on Sunday.

“As soon as the US returns to the nuclear deal and lifts the sanctions, then negotiations will once again be possible,” said Rowhani.

He noted that multiple differences between the two countries had been overcome during the initial round of negotiations that led to the 2015 nuclear deal, meaning there is no reason talks could not resume in the future.

But he said Washington will have to change its attitude first.

Iran and America have a long-standing enmity towards one another, but managed to agree to the nuclear deal, which saw Iran put its aspirations for a nuclear weapon on hold in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.

But US President Donald Trump disliked the deal and pulled America out of it after his election. He has since restored sanctions, causing Iran to ramp up its nuclear work and leave the deal dead in all but name.

But Rowhani said Iran is not about to completely tear up the deal and noted that his country continues to work closely with inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Rowhani called on the other signatories to the deal – Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – to remember that it was the United States that backed out of the deal, meaning they should not hold Iran responsible.

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