Rouhani: No One-on-One Summit Even if US Lifts Sanctions
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says that the best Washington can hope for is multilateral talks with Tehran, telling lawmakers on Tuesday that even if the United States cancels sanctions on the Islamic Republic, there can be no bilateral discussions. “If America lifts all the sanctions, then like before, it can join multilateral talks between Tehran and parties to the 2015 deal,” he told the country’s Parliament in comments broadcast by radio. He was referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, an accord reached with the US, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union that removed sanctions in return for guarantees that Iran would not pursue nuclear weapons. US President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in April 2018, reinstating what are seen as even tougher sanctions that analysts say have been crippling the Iranian economy, primarily by barring the export of crude oil. At the end of the recent G7 conference – which saw a surprise appearance by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the invitation of G7 host Emmanuel Macron – President Trump said he would be open to a summit with Rouhani, but the Iranian leader seems for now to have put a lid on that idea.