Friday, 19 October, 2018

Iran's parliament summons Rouhani as economy falters under United States pressures

Trump says he would meet with Iran's leaders without preconditions Anna Moneymaker
Charlie Simmons | 01 August, 2018, 17:50

Just before President Donald Trump expressed his willingness Monday to meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani under "no preconditions", Iran's foreign ministry spokesperson made it clear that such talks are not on the table, according to a New York Times report.

In May the United States left the deal which curbed Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

Trump's offer comes after a provocative warning a week ago from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who said the United States should not "play with the lion's tail" and warned that any conflict with Iran would be the "mother of all wars". "It was a ridiculous deal", Trump said.

World powers and Iran have been working on an economic package to compensate for U.S. sanctions that begin taking effect in August.

Head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Kamal Kharazi, said Tehran saw no value in U.S. President, Donald Trump's offer to meet Iranian president for talks without preconditions. "We prefer diplomacy, they prefer to export their malignant behavior around the world, as we have seen them do for many, many decades".

In a meeting with Britain's ambassador Tuesday, Rouhani called America's abandonment of the nuclear deal "illegal", declaring that "the ball is in Europe's court now".

Washington is preparing to re-impose sanctions on Tehran within days.

Trump withdrew from the landmark nuclear accord in May, saying it was too generous to Iran. Any time they want.

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The White House said that even though the president "is open to dialogue and negotiation", it did not mean the US would lift sanctions or re-establish diplomatic and commercial relations.

A senior aide to Rouhani said in a Twitter message that the only way to re-open talks was for the United States to return to the nuclear agreement. Former President Barack Obama was heavily criticized by conservatives when he said he'd hold talks with Iran without prior conditions or stipulations. But they also made it clear they won't be able to force their companies to keep doing business with Iran, since it could break the sanction rules and, thus, cut the companies off from the US financial system. Roughly one year ago, Bolton - not yet serving in his current post - unveiled a detailed plan on how the United States should leave the Iran nuclear deal.

Representatives from the US State Department and the Treasury Department swarmed out to warn of buying Iranian oil. The U.S. government would also help Iranians get around internet censorship. Iran denies seeking nuclear weapons.

Given Iran's various centers of power and the skepticism about such a meeting on the part of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, the country's spiritual guide and most powerful man, it's very unlikely to happen.

The former was dismissed by critics as resulting in little of substance, and the latter saw a number of gaffes, including Mr Trump appearing to say that he trusted Mr Putin's denial of election meddling over the opinion of U.S. intelligence agencies.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful, and its compliance with the deal has been verified by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which has said Iran is honouring its commitments.

The deputy speaker of Iran's parliament, Ali Motahari, said that to negotiate with Trump now "would be a humiliation".

An advisor to President Hassan Rowhani said any talks had to start with Washington returning to the 2015 nuclear deal it abandoned in May.

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