Iran's president rules out talks until US sanctions are lifted

Iran's president rules out talks until US sanctions are lifted
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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reportedly said Tuesday that talks with the U.S. won’t happen until President TrumpDonald John TrumpZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Trump leaning toward keeping a couple hundred troops in eastern Syria: report Warren says making Israel aid conditional on settlement building is 'on the table' MORE lifts U.S. sanctions on Tehran.

While Tehran is ready to hold talks with Washington, “first the U.S. should act by lifting all illegal, unjust and unfair sanctions imposed on Iran,” Rouhani said during a speech on state TV, according to Reuters.

“Washington has the key for positive change," he said. "Without this step, this lock will not be unlocked.”

He added: “If someone intends to make it as just a photo op with Rouhani, that is not possible.”

Rouhani’s comments come a day after Trump said at the Group of Seven (G-7) summit in France that there’s a “really good chance” that he and the Iranian president could meet to potentially end tensions that have escalated since he withdrew the U.S. from the Obama-era nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on Tehran.

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But Trump ruled out the possibility of lifting economic sanctions, which, along with the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal, have led to billions of dollars in losses for Iran, according to Reuters.

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronMacron urges EU to condemn Turkish invasion of Syria US should support, but also prod, Ukraine Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill MORE, in closing out the G-7 summit, on Monday also revealed his attempt to get the U.S. and Iran to meet in the coming weeks, The Associated Press reports.

Rouhani has threatened to “continue to scale back our commitments under the 2015 deal if our interests are not guaranteed” by getting sanctions relief, Reuters notes.

Trump and Rouhani will come face to face in September, when they are both set to attend the United Nations General Assembly.