Iran believes in "timely" negotiations with US: Rouhani

TEHRAN, Dec. 05 (MNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran's defensive capabilities are non-negotiable, adding that Tehran would have no problem with holding timely negotiations with Washington only if the US accepted Iran's rightful positions first.

President Hassan Rouhani made the remarks at meeting of the Administrative Council of Semnan province on Wednesday, at the end of his two-day visit to the northern province.

“Our defense capabilities are non-negotiable. We need to be strong. If I do not talk much about defense, people should not think that nothing has been done in this area [during my term in office]; there have been very good actions done in the country’s defensive field, and since I took office five years ago at the start of my first term until now, as many as 12 years of defensive and strategic projects have been carried out in the country,” Rouhani said.

With regard to the possibility of negotiations with the United States, the president said that Iran seeks peace with the world, noting “Americans keep sending request for talks every day…but we will talk only when the US surrenders to what is right.”

"We have to hold talks at an appropriate time because untimely negotiations is like picking unripe fruit from a tree, which is both harmful to the body, and to that tree as well,” he asserted, adding “but we believe in timely negotiations, and we also believe that the time for negotiations must arrive; Iran has shown that it has no problem with holding dialogue and negotiations, but the world must first accept the realities, and this also applies to Europe."

He further explained that the condition is not ripe for negotiations and if Iran responds positively to the American’s call for negotiations now, it will lose “its dignity, independence, democracy and great Iran.”

The Iranian president further stressed that Iran will not negotiate over its missile program, calling on the Europeans not to bring up Iran's defensive power as it would not be acceptable to the Islamic Republic.

President Rouhani further noted that the economic pressures are the result of the Iranian nation’s resistance against the enemies’ plots in regional countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

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