Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that the U.S. needs “more sensible people” in Congress.
“We hope we will get more sensible people in the U.S. Congress,” he said during a press conference in Rome, according to Bloomberg Business.
Rouhani also rebuffed lawmakers who believe Tehran deserves economic sanctions following its landmark nuclear agreement last year with the U.S.
“The U.S. should stop putting pressure on Iran,” he said. "They have not learned that the era of sanctions is over.”
Rouhani argued that U.S. lawmakers could generate better business ties between Iran and the West if they soften their rhetoric.
“It’s possible, but the key is Washington, not Tehran,” he told reporters, according to The Associated Press.
“If American investors and the heads of American economy want to come to Iran and invest in my nation, there are no problems from our point of view,” Rouhani continued. "[That could] end the tensions and hostility.”
The world leader added that Iranian leadership hungers for a greater role in the Middle East.
“The Americans know well the important regional questions, that without Iranian presence, without the Iranian contribution, without Iranian opinion, these questions will not be resolved,” Rouhani said.
“The Middle East is a very sensitive, very delicate region. We hope that the Americans end the hostility and this enmity rather than always look to the past. Let them look more to the future.”
Rouhani is visiting Rome as part of business negotiations with Italy worth about 20 billion euros ($22 billion), Bloomberg Business reported.
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