Iran Defiant As United States Reimposes Tough Sanctions

TEHRAN — President Hassan Rouhani has slammed US President Donald Trump’s of­fer for direct talks as a disin­genuous PR stunt for domes­tic consumption while the “untrustworthy” Washington only increases its sanctions against Iran.

In his first public state­ment since Trump signed an executive order reinstating sanctions against Tehran, Rou­hani said that he will not nego­tiate with Washington while being sanctioned at same time, describing such tactics as “psy­chological warfare [against] the Iranian nation,” adding that “Trump’s call for direct talks is only for domestic con­sumption in America … and to create chaos in Iran.”

Rouhani said that the Ira­nians would make the US re­gret for re-imposing sanctions against the Islamic republic.

“Through unity and solidarity, the Iranians will weather away the return of sanctions,” Rouhani said on Monday, Xinhua news agen­cy reported.

“(US President) Donald Trump will learn that these kinds of pressures did not sur­render Iranians in the past and will never do so in the future.”

The Iranian president said that while his govern­ment favored dialogue, such talks required “honesty.”

“The US reimposes sanc­tions on Iran and pulls out of the nuclear deal, and then wants to hold talks with us,” Rouhani said in a Monday speech broadcast live on state television.

He went on to compare Trump’s alleged offer to stab­bing someone with a knife, while claiming to only seek peaceful dialogue. “They’re imposing sanctions upon Ira­nian children, patients, and the people,” Rouhani said. He called on the White House to sign back on to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal if was indeed serious about ne­gotiating with Tehran.

The first batch of sanc­tions, which will take effect on Tuesday, target Tehran’s purchase of US banknotes, trade in gold and other pre­cious metals, as well as the use of graphite, coal, alumin­ium and steel in industrial processes.

They also affect transac­tions related to the Iranian Rial, the issuance of sover­eign debts, and the country’s automotive sector.

Another round of sanc­tions, to be reinstalled in No­vember, will be on Iran’s port, energy and shipping sectors, its petroleum-related transac­tions, and foreign transactions with the Central Bank of Iran, according to the statement.

Washington is reinstat­ing measures that were lifted under the nuclear deal, after unilaterally withdrawing from the historic Joint Com­prehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Tehran in May.

The 2015 agreement, which placed tight controls on Tehran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions, was signed by Iran, the United States, Russia, China and the European Union.

Washington’s unilateral withdrawal from the deal been widely condemned by the EU and other signatories, raising questions among Eu­ropean nations about whether the United States could still be considered a reliable transat­lantic partner. The European Commission has stated that despite US sanctions, Euro­pean companies will continue doing business in Iran under Brussels’ protection.

Earlier reacting to Trump offer of meeting Irani­an leadership “any time they want to, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the US should blame itself for ending talks with Iran when it left the JCPOA.

“The hours of our nego­tiations with America were perhaps unprecedented in history; then Trump signs something and say all [those negotiations] are void; can you negotiate with this per­son? Is this [negotiations of­fer] anything but a publicity stunt?” he asked.

Noting that the purpose and subject of any negotia­tions must be clear, Iran’s top diplomat added, “Negotiations must be worth their while.”


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