Iran wants sanctions lifted before meeting with the United States


President Hassan Rohani on Tuesday urged the United States to "take the first step", lifting all sanctions imposed on Iran on the nuclear issue, the day after Donald Trump saying that possible meeting with his Iranian counterpart.

On tour in Asia, Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was even more skeptical, noting that during his surprise visit to the G7 in Biarritz, he described such a meeting as "unimaginable" as long as Washington was not reinstated. not the 2015 international agreement.

Tensions between Trump's US and the Islamic Republic have deepened in recent months, following the US unilateral withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, followed by Washington's strong sanctions against Tehran.

A slight easing however appeared on the occasion of the G7 summit in recent days in France, Donald Trump does not reject the principle of a meeting with his Iranian counterpart.

Commenting on this announcement, however, Hassan Rohani has, in turn, set conditions.

The first step is to withdraw the sanctions. You must withdraw all the illegal, unjust and erroneous sanctions against the Iranian nation, "said Rohani Tuesday morning in a speech broadcast on state TV.

"The key to a positive change is in the hands of Washington," because Iran has already ruled out doing what worries the United States the most: the making of an atomic bomb, "said the Iranian president.

"If, honestly, this is your only concern, it has already been ruled out" by a fatwa issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he said.

The recent upsurge in tensions between Iran and the United States, with mysterious attacks on ships in the strategic Gulf region, drones shot down and tankers seized, has led to fears of uncontrollable escalation.

But to the question "Is it realistic that you meet Mr. Rohani in the coming weeks?", Asked Monday by the press in closing of the G7, Donald Trump answered in the affirmative.

Mr Trump, who had flagrantly denounced the Iranian nuclear deal and has since exercised "maximum pressure" on Iran, nevertheless conditioned such a meeting: that "circumstances" be met.

The day before, the French president Emmanuel Macron, who leads an active mediation for a de-escalation, had signed a diplomatic blow by inviting the head of Iranian diplomacy, Mohammad Javad Zarif, to Biarritz.

At a G7 news conference, Macron said talks at the summit had created "the conditions for a meeting and therefore an agreement" between the US and Iranian presidents.

He hoped that this meeting could be organized "in the coming weeks". "Nothing is done, things are eminently fragile," he warned.

As evidence, remarks made Tuesday in Asia by Mr. Zarif, reported by the state TV: "During my visit to Biarritz, I said that the prospects of a meeting between the Iranian president and Trump were unimaginable" .

The Iranian leader, however, did not say whether the outcome of this visit to France, and the words of Donald Trump could change this vision.

In Tehran, President Rohani said he was open to dialogue on Monday, despite criticism of the regime's hard wing on the visit of his foreign minister in France.

"Take the first step," hammered Mr. Rohani Tuesday. "Without this step, the lock will not be unlocked," he warned, during his speech at the inauguration of a real estate project in Tehran.

The Vienna nuclear deal was based on a lifting of sanctions against Iran in exchange for Iran's commitment not to acquire nuclear weapons.

But after the reestablishment of heavy American sanctions largely affecting the economy of the Islamic Republic, Tehran retaliated by breaking commitments made under the agreement, and threatens to continue to unravel if it does not get counterparties.

Europeans try to convince Donald Trump to loosen sanctions on Iranian oil in exchange for Tehran's return to compliance with its commitments and the opening of negotiations to strengthen the Vienna agreement and frame the ballistic program Iranian.

In his speech on Tuesday, Rohani urged the United States to "return to the commitments" made by Barack Obama's administration under the nuclear deal.

"We are trying to solve problems in a rational way, but we are not looking for + photo breaks," he said.

The possible meeting between Rohani and Trump was denounced as "an opportunity for a photo break" on Tuesday in the front page of the Javan newspaper, close to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Messrs. Rohani and Trump are expected to be in New York for the UN General Assembly in late September, which could be a milestone for the talks being discussed.

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