Iran's leader links talks with US to lifting sanctions

Iran's leader links talks with US to lifting sanctions
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday said Tehran would be open to negotiations with the U.S. if President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE lifts the sanctions that went into effect on Monday. 

"We are always ready to negotiate," Rouhani said on Iranian state television. "But they need to return to [the Iran nuclear deal]. And they need to be honest. You can’t negotiate while putting sanctions on Iran, sanctions on Iranian children." 

"We are always in favor of diplomacy and talks," Rouhani said, according to Reuters. "But talks needs honesty. ... The U.S. reimposes sanctions on Iran and pulls out of the nuclear deal, and then wants to hold talks with us." 


U.S. sanctions against Iran's automotive industry, as well as trade involving gold and other metals, went into effect on Monday after Trump withdrew from the Obama-era nuclear deal in May. The nuclear deal lifted heavy U.S. sanctions against Iran in exchange for the country reducing its nuclear abilities.

The European Union on Monday said in a statement that it deeply regrets the restored U.S. sanctions against Iran, and vowed to stand by the Iran nuclear deal

Trump often says he wants to meet with Iranian leaders, and last week said he would meet for talks without preconditions. 

"I do not have any precondition if the U.S. administration is prepared today," Rouhani said on Monday. "We are ready to negotiate about the compensations they [U.S. leaders] have to pay to the Iranian nation for their acts of interference in Iran." 

The Trump administration in recent weeks has ramped up a pressure campaign against the Iranian government, decrying its leaders as exploitative and corrupt while supporting protesters on the ground. 

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoCongress closer to forcing Trump’s hand on Saudi support Heather Nauert withdraws her name from consideration for UN ambassador job The Hill's Morning Report — Presented by the American Academy of HIV Medicine — Trump, Congress prepare for new border wall fight MORE on Sunday said the U.S. is "going to enforce these sanctions" unless Iran implements "enormous change."

"We’re very hopeful that we can find a way to move forward, but it’s going to require enormous change on the part of the Iranian regime," Pompeo said. "They’ve got to – well, they’ve got to behave like a normal country. That’s the ask."