Negotiations possible once US lifts unjust sanctions: Rouhani

TEHRAN, Dec. 04 (MNA) – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wed. that negotiations could take place once the US removed its unjust sanctions against Iran, adding that even heads of P5+1 could hold talks in a joint meeting format.

“When I was in New York, I said if US President Trump removed the sanctions, I would meet with him in an hour,” said Rouhani, referring to his recent trip to New York for the UN General Assembly meeting.

“The moment the US lifts all of its unjust, wrong, and terrorist sanctions on Iran, heads of the P5+1 could immediately gather for a joint meeting,” Rouhani said.

The Iranian president made the remarks during his address at the National Insurance and Development Conference in Tehran on Wednesday, while discussing the details of his phone conversation with former US President Barack Obama prior to the signing of the Geneva interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear case.

The president said Obama’s phone call came as Rouhani was about to leave New York, and he decided to answer the call upon the suggestion of all of his advisers.

The nearly 20-minute talk, which Rouhani described as a “highly powerful locomotive for propelling the train of negotiations”, made it possible for the sides to reach an interim agreement on Iran’s nuclear case in Geneva in less than 100 days, according to Rouhani.

He said the former US president raised three issues during the phone call, adding “I told him that we were not ready to negotiate on all of those three issues. If negotiations on the first one, which was our nuclear case, took place and you did a good job on implementing the agreement, then we would put the other two issues on agenda.”

Rouhani said that the Geneva interim agreement temporarily lifted sanctions on many sectors, and Iran’s frozen assets were given back $700 million per month.

“The most important achievement of this interim agreement was the other sides’ acceptance of Iran’s right to enrichment,” Rouhani said. “No one could believe that we could obtain this concession from the six world powers, which was at the time against the UN resolutions.”

Rouhani then hailed the impact of the nuclear deal on the country’s economy, particularly in the insurance sector and foreign investment.

The president also censured the undermining role of the Israeli regime and Saudi Arabia in delaying the signing of the Iran nuclear deal.  

The Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), was signed in 2015 between Iran and the P5+1, comprising the US, France, Britain, Russia, China plus Germany.

The US, under the Trump Administration, unilaterally withdrew from the agreement in 2018, and reimposed sanctions against Iran, forcing the European sides to the deal to stop doing business with Iran in fear of repercussions of secondary sanctions.  

A year after the US’ withdrawal, Iran began taking measures to reduce its commitments to the JCPOA in a bid to create a balance between its rights and obligations and also to encourage the other parties to live up to their own share of commitments to keep the agreement alive.

MNA/IRN83578701

News Code 153023

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