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Iran 'ready for talks' with US if sanctions are lifted

Iranian leader Rouhani says Tehran open for dialogue if sanctions are lifted and US returns to nuclear deal.

In reaction to US sanctions, Tehran announced in May that it would scale back its commitments to the 2015 nuclear deal [File: Mohammad Berno/Iranian presidency via AP]

Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it pulled out of last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said.

"We have always believed in talks ... if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere," Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday.

But Iran has made any talks conditional on first being able to export as much oil as it did before the US  withdrew from the nuclear pact with world powers in May 2018.

Tensions heightened between the longtime foes last year when US President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that had been lifted under the pact.

In reaction to US sanctions, which have notably targeted Iran's main foreign revenue stream in the shape of crude oil exports. Tehran announced in May it would scale back its commitments to the deal.

In defiance of a warning by European parties to the pact to continue its full compliance, Tehran amassed more low-enriched uranium than permitted and it has started to enrich uranium above the 3.67 percent permitted under the agreement.

Tehran has been pushing the European signatories to the accord, including France, Germany and the United Kingdom, to protect it from US sanctions.

The 2015 deal between Iran and world powers was described as a triumph of diplomacy against unilateralism and a major step in countering proliferation.

The accord promised sanctions relief, economic benefits and an end to international isolation of the Islamic Republic in return for stringent curbs on its nuclear programme. Read More...


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