Iran says it's ready for talks if U.S. apologises over nuclear pact
DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran would be open to talks with the United States if Washington apologized for withdrawing from a 2015 nuclear deal and compensated Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday, warning that the U.S. is demanding discussions to be disingenuous.
Confrontation between arch-enemies Tehran and Washington has worsened since 2018, when U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal with major powers in 2015 and reintroduced sanctions that paralyzed the Iranian economy.
Iran has refused to hold talks with the United States that is trying to force Tehran to negotiate a new agreement unless Washington removes sanctions against Tehran and returns to the original agreement.
In a tweet in early June, Trump reiterated Washington's call for a new deal with Tehran that aims to tighten Tehran's nuclear work, curb its ballistic missile program, and end its decades of regional proxy wars.
"We have no problem with talks with the United States, but only if Washington meets its nuclear deal commitments, apologizes, and compensates Tehran for withdrawing from the 2015 agreement," Rouhani said in a television speech.
"But we know that these calls to talk to Tehran are just words and lies," he added.
In retaliation for Washington's "maximum pressure" policy, Iran has gradually reduced its nuclear commitments. A process that Tehran believes to be reversible if the European parties keep their promises to protect the Iranian economy from US punishment.
"Europeans have failed to deliver on their promises. They should honor their commitments," said Rouhani.
Rouhani has also blown up a resolution passed on Friday by the United States' nuclear watchdog, calling on Iran to deny the agency access to two alleged former sites and to fully cooperate with it.
"Iran is ready to work legally with the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency)," he said.
(Letter from Parisa Hafezi; editing by Andrew Heavens, William Maclean)
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