US has to lift all sanctions if it’s genuine about talks: Rouhani

TEHRAN, Aug. 06 (MNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said if the US is genuine about holding talks with Iran, it needs to remove all sanctions against the country before anything else.

President Rouhani made the remark at the Foreign Ministry building on Tuesday. He was visiting Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif a few days after the administration of US President Donald Trump imposed sanctions on him, saying that Zarif is Iran's "primary spokesperson around the world," and that the ban "is sending a clear message that Iran's "recent behavior is completely unacceptable.”

“When our foreign minister speaks in international communities, everyone knows that he is talking on behalf of the Iranian nation, not a certain power,” Rouhani said, adding “however, there are many countries whose representatives speak on behalf of a major power, or just repeat the words of a major power in a different way.”

Rouhani stressed that an extensive interaction with the world is the Leader’s recommendation and the Establishment’s decision,” adding that standing against the world and taking a confrontational stance is one of the easiest things in the world and does not take any skill.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes talks and negotiations, but if the United States is genuine about holding talks, it first needs to remove all sanctions against us before taking any other step,” Rouhani said in a meeting with Foreign Minister Zarif, his deputies, and the senior managers of the ministry on Tuesday, adding “It’s not possible to sit at the negotiating table with a ‘murderer’.”

Rouhani then addressed the US, saying “peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all war.”

“You cannot hurt our security and expect security,” stressed Rouhani. “Peace for peace. You can’t say that you won’t allow us to export oil, but others can keep exporting theirs. This won’t do. Oil will be for oil.”

The president then put the US hawks, the Israeli regime and reactionary states in the region into a ‘triangle of evil’ category, saying “every step we take forward and succeed, they come at us from all angles.”

He noted that when the Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015, many undermining measures were taken to make the agreement fail.

“It was the will of God that revealed to the world that the Iranian nation has a great political and diplomatic power. That we have logic on our side and we will succeed,” he stressed.

He went on to add, “we signed an agreement that neither friends nor enemies could say was a bad deal for Iran.”

“Our enemies said from the beginning that the nuclear agreement was bad for them and beneficial to Iran. Even Trump said the same thing, when he said ‘Iranians never lost a negotiation!’

The president then noted the many instances of US’ withdrawal from international agreements, saying “the fact that the US today has issues with Japan, China and the European Union, and its administration has even insulted the former British prime minister, shows that it’s the US which is to blame.”

“The downing of the US drone by an Iranian missile showed Iran’s power,” he said.

“The British vessels had been for long violating maritime regulations while crossing through [the Strait of Hormuz] and we had been overlooking them,” Rouhani added.

Zarif had also said the same thing during his press conference on Monday, in reference to Iran’s seizure of a UK-flagged tanker which had violated maritime rules, saying that while carrying out its responsibilities in the Persian Gulf, Iran sometimes would overlook certain violations, adding “but today, we see no reason to ignore the UK’s violation and act of piracy,” referring to the unlawful seizure of Iran-operated oil tanker, Grace 1, by British Royal Marines in Gibraltar on July 4.

“We are still in talks with the world; if we reached an agreement, the better. If not, we have other ways to continue our way,” Rouhani promised.

MNA/4685931

News Code 148534

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