Iran cannot talk to US while under sanctions: Rouhani

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International desk: President Hassan Rouhani has declared that Iran cannot enter talks with the “untrustworthy” administration of US President Donald Trump as long as Tehran is under the shadow of economic sanctions.

Rouhani made the comments in a televised interview on Monday evening, just hours before the first round of unilateral “snap back” US sanctions take effect on Tuesday.

“You cannot expect to talk to a person after you stab him and leave the knife in his body,” Rouhani, speaking in Persian, told IRIB state television.

He said the United States proved to be an unreliable negotiating partner when it decided to withdraw from a multinational nuclear deal with Iran and reimpose sanctions against it.

“If there is trust, Iran always welcomes negotiations,” he said. “But negotiations don’t make sense while we are under sanctions.”

In late July, Trump, who has repeatedly criticised Iran’s leaders, said he is willing to meet with them with no preconditions – even though US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later walked back some of the president’s comments.

Speaking to IRIB, Rouhani said Trump’s offer to negotiate is aimed at “creating divisions” in Iran, accusing him of trying to launch “psychological warfare” against the Iranian people.

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