Iran's Rouhani open to talks if sanctions are lifted

Iran's Rouhani open to talks if sanctions are lifted
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Sunday that the nation is open to negotiations with the U.S. if it re-enters the 2015 nuclear deal and lifts sanctions, according to Reuters.

“We have always believed in talks ... if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere,” Rouhani said in his Sunday speech, according to the news service.

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The speech comes amid rising tensions between Tehran and the U.S. that included the U.S. planning a later-canceled strike on Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. drone that Iran said was in its airspace.

Iran has also scaled back its own commitments under the nuclear deal, which the U.S. withdrew from in 2018, amassing more low-enriched uranium than the pact permits and beginning to enrich uranium above the 3.67 percent it allows.

In the meantime, other signatories of the 2015 deal, including France, Britain and Germany, have beseeched the nations to take steps toward talks.

“We believe that the time has come to act responsibly and to look for ways to stop the escalation of tension and resume dialogue,” they said in a joint statement that was released by the French president’s office, according to Reuters.

“The risks are such that it is necessary for all stakeholders to pause, and consider the possible consequences of their actions,” they added.