By Irina Slav
Iran has no interest in holding bilateral talks with the United States, the country’s president, Hassan Rouhani, told the Iranian parliament, adding the only context in which Iran would sit at the negotiating table—with all signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan—would be when all U.S. sanctions are lifted.
“We’ve said it before time and again, and we say it again: We have no intention to hold bilateral talks with the United States. We never did and never will. It has been the case in the past year and a half, and even in previous years. There have been calls for talks, but we never responded to them,” Rouhani said as quoted by Mehr news agency.
“When we talk about negotiations, we only mean it under the situation where all sanctions have been lifted; that is, the situation we previously had under the JCPOA. Our stance is clear,” the Iranian President also said.
The European signatories of the JCPOA, commonly referred to as the Iran nuclear deal, have been trying to find a way to reduce the tensions between Iran and the U.S., which pulled out of the deal last year, in order to save it and make sure Iran does not begin enriching uranium to weapon-grade levels.
Iran threatened this might happen earlier this year after France, Germany, and the UK failed to come up with a plan to offset the effect of U.S. sanctions on Iran’s economy.
Last month, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif made a surprise appearance at the G7 summit in France to discuss the nuclear deal with French President Emmanuel Macron. At the time, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources, Tehran would demand increased oil exports if it was to discuss the nuclear deal.
“As a goodwill gesture and a step toward creating space for negotiations, we have responded to France’s proposal. We want to export 700,000 bpd of oil and get paid in cash … and that is just for a start. It should reach to 1.5 million bpd,” one of the sources said.
Another added that the ballistic missile program of the country was non-negotiable. “Iran’s ballistic missile program cannot and will not be negotiated. We have underlined it clearly and openly,” the source said.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com