FILE - In this April 4, 2015 file photo, Iranian and U.S. banknotes are on display at a currency exchange shop in downtown Tehran, Iran. Iran’s currency is continuing its downward spiral as increased American sanctions loom, hitting a new low on the thriving black market exchange. The Iranian rial fell to 112,000 to the dollar on Sunday, July 29, 2018, from 98,000 to $1 on Saturday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Iran: Trump needs to rejoin nuclear deal if he wants talks

Trump on Monday said he’d meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “anytime” if the Iranian leader were willing.

Iranian officials reacted skeptically on Tuesday to President Donald Trump’s comments that he’s willing to negotiate with his Iranian counterpart, saying instead that if Trump wants talks, he needs to rejoin the international nuclear deal he unilaterally pulled out of earlier this year.

Trump on Monday said he’d meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “anytime” if the Iranian leader were willing.

In his first public remarks after the comment, Rouhani did not mention Trump at all but instead stressed the need for the other nations involved in the nuclear deal to forge ahead with their pledges of trying to salvage it.

“Today we are at a very critical point in history regarding the nuclear deal, and Europe’s transparent measures to compensate for the United States’ unlawful withdrawal from it are very important for the Iranian nation,” Rouhani said after talks with new British Ambassador Rob Macaire.

In addition to Britain, China, Germany, France, Russia and the European Union are negotiating with Iran on preserving the deal.

The Iranian leadership has previously ruled out one-on-one talks with Trump, following his decision to pull the United States out of the deal under which Iran was given relief from sanctions in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency quoted political adviser Hamid Aboutalebi as saying that for talks to happen, the U.S. needs to rejoin the deal.

“Those who believe in dialogue as a method of resolving disputes in civilized societies should be committed to the means,” he said.

Related: Iran dismisses Trump’s explosive threat to country’s leader

Related: Trump puts Iran ‘on notice’ after ballistic missile test

Trump withdrew from the landmark nuclear accord in May, saying it was too generous to Iran. He has vowed to ramp up sanctions until Iran radically changes its regional policies, including its support for regional militant groups, something the country’s leaders have long refused to do.

Even though Trump on Monday said if Rouhani were to meet with him there would be “no preconditions,” he also did not walk back from any of those earlier demands.

With the first U.S. sanctions due to come into effect next Monday, the economy in Iran has already been hit, giving rise to growing fears of prolonged economic suffering. Another round, covering other types of commerce, including oil purchases, goes into effect Nov. 4.

Rouhani on Tuesday again suggested Iran could cause major disruptions in the Gulf region by attempting to block key shipping lanes, saying “Iran has never sought tensions in the region and does not want there to be any problem for the world’s waterways, but it will never let go of its right to export oil,” the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

With the U.S. sanctions looming, the Iranian currency has been in freefall, hitting a new low Monday, at 122,000 rial to the dollar on the thriving black market. It recovered slightly to 115,000 to the dollar on Tuesday, and concerns are growing as Iranians have seen their savings dwindle and purchasing power drop.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, the head of influentialparliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, suggested a U.S. return to the nuclear deal, which would bring an end to the economic uncertainty, would be needed before Tehran could think of negotiating.

“There can be no negotiations with the Americans raising the issue of talks from the position of power,” he was quoted as saying on the website of the Iranian parliament, calling Trump’s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal the “biggest blow to diplomacy.”

Reformist lawmaker Mostafa Kavakebian questioned negotiating with Trump, calling him “untrustworthy,” and also said now was not the time for talks.

“If this negotiation (is) carried out in any form, then it will be considered as surrender and the Iranian nation will not surrender,” he said.

Amir Vahdat, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Red Deer man loses car after being caught twice driving with suspended licence

The Ponoka Integrated Traffic Unit ticketed the man in December and on Valentine’s Day

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

The can’t decide the pipeline’s fate until a new round of consultations with Indigenous communities

PHOTOS: Canada Games action from the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Wheelchair basketball, short-track speedskating draw large crowds

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

LOCATED: Innisfail RCMP looking for missing woman

Amanda Kucher was last seen at the Innisfail 7-Eleven on Feb. 15

Most Read