Wider Talks with U.S. possible if 2015 deal implemented: Rouhani

Vastavam web: Iran can discuss other issues with the United States providing its 2015 nuclear deal with six powers is fully implemented, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday, adding that Tehran’s missile capabilities were not negotiable. “First, the deal should be fully implemented … meaning that sanctions should be lifted and America should return to the nuclear deal … and then other issues can be discussed as well,” Rouhani said.

“We want America to remove its preconditions for talking to Iran, including its ‘maximum pressure’ policy against the Iranian nation” before any talks can be possible, he said at a news conference in New York during the United Nations’ annual gathering of world leaders.

The U.S.-Iranian confrontation has ratcheted up since last year, when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy to force Tehran to renegotiate the pact. “The European parties have proved their inability or lack of determination … to keep the deal alive in practice. .. They want to save the pact, but they want Iran to pay the cost for it,” said Rouhani.

Trump wants to go beyond the deal to further curb Iran’s nuclear programme, halt its ballistic missile work and end its support for proxy forces in the Middle East. The United States, European powers and Saudi Arabia have blamed an attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities on Sept. 14 on Iran, instead of the Yemeni Iran-aligned Houthi group that claimed responsibility.

Iran has distanced itself from the attacks, warning that it was ready for a “full-fledged” war. “We are innocent and had no involvement in the attack … therefore we should not provide evidence to prove it. Those who blame Iran should provide evidence,” Rouhani said on Thursday. He pointed to the release in June of a Lebanese citizen with U.S. residency who was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of spying for the United States.

“After his release, Americans thanked us but failed to reciprocate. Therefore, the ball is in the American’s court now,” Rouhani said. On Wednesday, Trump took steps to bar senior Iranian officials and their immediate family from entering the United States as immigrants or non-immigrants, the White House said in a proclamation.