Times of Israel: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said Monday that Washington’s call for new negotiations at the same time as it reimposes crippling sanctions “makes no sense.”
Rouhani said “Negotiations with sanctions doesn’t make sense. They are imposing sanctions on Iranian children, patients and the nation.” He was referring to fears that essential supplies such as medicines would be affected when sanctions return.
He said Iran had “always welcomed negotiations,” but that Washington would first have to demonstrate it can be trusted.
“If you’re an enemy and you stab the other person with a knife and then you say you want negotiations, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife.”
Washington must prove, he said, “whether it wants to resolve the problem through negotiations.” It should also apologize to the Iranian people for its past behavior, he added.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday reimposing many sanctions on Iran, three months after pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal, saying the U.S. policy is to levy “maximum economic pressure” on the country. (AP)
CNN reports that US President, in a statement said that “The United States is fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions, and we will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance. Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences,” Trump said in a statement about penalties that will go back into effect at 12:01am Tuesday.
A senior administration official said that, “our stated policy has not been regime change, it’s been to modify the Iranian regime’s behavior.”
The official, speaking to reporters on a conference call with others from the administration, said that Trump remains open to meeting Iran’s leaders without preconditions.
“The President has been very clear none of this has to happen, he will meet with the Iranian leadership anytime” to discuss another nuclear deal “that curbs their malign activity,” the official said. “What he was saying there is that he’s not going to give up anything in advance of a meeting, that there are no preconditions,” the official said.