In this combination of file pictures, US President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, July 18, 2018, and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani giving a speech on Iranian TV in Tehran. US President Donald Trump said Aug 25, 2019 that he is open to a France-proposed meeting with his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani "if the circumstances are right". (HO, NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP / IRANIAN PRESIDENCY)
BIARRITZ/DUBAI - Iran has no intention to talk to the United States unless all sanctions imposed on Tehran are lifted, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, a day after US President Donald Trump said he would meet his Iranian counterpart to end a nuclear standoff.
On Monday, Trump said he is open to a France-proposed meeting with his Iranian counterpart "if the circumstances are right".
Washington has the key for positive change ... So take the first step ... Without this step, this lock will not be unlocked.
Hassan Rouhani, Iranian president
Rouhani said Iran was always ready to hold talks. "But first the US should act by lifting all illegal, unjust and unfair sanctions imposed on Iran," he said in a speech broadcast live on state TV.
"Washington has the key for positive change ... So take the first step ... Without this step, this lock will not be unlocked," Rouhani said.
"Iran does not seek tension with the world. We want security in the Middle East. We want better and friendly ties with other countries," the Iranian president also said.
He said seeking nuclear bomb weapons was banned under a fatwa issued by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, referring to a religious decree issued in the early 2000s by Iran's top authority that bans the development or use of nuclear weapons.
Iran, which has slowly been breaching the nuclear deal in retaliation for US sanctions, has threatened further violations in early September unless it receives sanctions relief.
"We will continue to scale back our commitments under the 2015 deal if our interests are not guaranteed," said Rouhani.
"In the meantime, they have to be good players," Trump told a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the end of the G7 summit in the southern French town of Biarritz.
Speaking at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron at the end of the G7 summit in the southern French town of Biarritz Monday, Trump again denounced the "very bad deal" reached in 2015 with Tehran, adding that the G7 was working on a long-term agreement that guarantees that Iran does not acquire either nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles.
"I think he's going to want to meet. I think Iran wants to get this situation straightened out...They're really hurting badly," said Trump.
I'm looking at a really good Iran , really strong, we're not looking for regime change. We are looking for no nuclear weapon, no ballistic missiles, very simple
Donald Trump, President, US
"I'm looking at a really good Iran, really strong, we're not looking for regime change. We are looking for no nuclear weapon, no ballistic missiles, very simple," added Trump.
Macron, who proposed the meeting, said that the Iranian president too was open to a meeting with Trump.
"I wish a meeting between the two presidents in the coming weeks," said Macron, adding that France plays a role as a JCPOA partner to set up this meeting. It is a concerted initiative rather than mediation "because our goals are common".
The French president reiterated that the Iran nuclear deal, or JCPOA signed in 2015, provided guarantees for the international community to ensure that Iran will no longer enrich uranium until 2025.
"Mr. Rouhani was open to this meeting. We are moving forward and I want an agreement between the United States and Iran. France will play the role she has to play," Macron said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif paid a surprise visit to Biarritz on Sunday at the invitation of his French counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, without meeting any US official.
"We had exchanges to draw a path. Nothing is done. It is fragile, but discussions on the technical level have led to progress," said Macron.
Macron said after discussions about the Iranian nuclear issue on Friday and Saturday, he decided to invite Zarif as a friend to Biarritz. He informed Trump before Zarif's arrival so that Trump knew every step of the issue.
According to earlier reports, Zarif's visit was a surprise for Trump that irritated Washington.
"This would not have been possible without the clarity of the US President and the work done with Britain and Germany," said Macron.
HONG KONG NEWS