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Iran Rebuffs Talk of Trump-Rouhani Meeting after Bolton’s Departure

Iran Rebuffs Talk of Trump-Rouhani Meeting after Bolton’s Departure

Wednesday, 11 September, 2019 - 09:00
FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting with tribal leaders in Kerbala, Iraq, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-Deen
Asharq Al-Awsat

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that Tehran would cut its commitments to a 2015 nuclear deal further if necessary, as the country rebuffed US talk of a possible meeting between Rouhani and President Donald Trump.

"The United States should understand that militancy has no profit and must abandon its policy of maximum pressure on Iran ... Iran's commitments to the nuclear deal is proportional to other parties and we will take further steps if necessary," Rouhani said at a cabinet meeting in Tehran.

Last year, the United States pulled out of the nuclear deal, under which Iran agreed to curbs on its atomic program in return for access to world trade. Washington has since imposed what the administration calls a policy of "maximum pressure", including sanctions aimed at halting all Iranian oil exports.

Rouhani’s statement on Wednesday came as Tehran's United Nations envoy Majid Takhteravanchi said that the resignation of White House National Security Adviser John Bolton, a hawk on Iran, will not lead to talks between Washington and Tehran.

Bolton’s departure from the Trump administration “will not push Iran to reconsider talking with the US," Takhteravanchi said.

He added there was no room for talks with the United States while sanctions against Iran remain in place.

"As long as the US government's economic terrorism and such cruel sanctions are imposed on the Iranian people, there is no room for negotiations," Takhteravanchi was quoted as saying.

Two of Trump's top lieutenants on Tuesday indicated he was ready to meet the Iranian president without preconditions, after the US leader sacked Bolton.

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stressed the United States would maintain its campaign of "maximum pressure" against Iran.

The idea of a Trump-Rouhani meeting was floated last month by French President Emmanuel Macron, who has been spearheading European efforts to de-escalate tensions between Iran and the United States.

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