Rouhani: "You can't impose sanctions and negotiate at the same time"
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani has said Donald Trump's offer of negotiations with Iran with no pre-conditions is not serious, since you can't have sanctions and negotiations at the same time. He poignantly added: "if you stick a knife into someones arm, you fist have to take the knife out, before you can start to negotiate !!"
Iran/Press- President Rouhani went on to dismiss Trump's offer of 'negotiations' as a public relations exercise, meant to deceive world public opinion, and public opinion at home, as much as anything else. He said Trump has launched a psychological campaign against Iran , and 'he wants to divide the Iranian public' by his offer of so-called negotiations and talks.
According to Official Iranian Presidency site, speaking on Monday night, Hassan Rouhani answered a question about the United States’ stances towards Iran, including their suggestions for negotiation, saying: “US officials make contradictory remarks”.
Stating that Iranians are aware of US officials’ and their own officials’ behaviour regarding negotiations, he said: “Those who are in office in Iran today have been working with the motto of interaction, negotiation and the negotiation table since the start and they have even negotiated with Americans and others”.
“We negotiated for two years and reached an agreement that the Americans were more or less living up to; others were committed to it, and Iran completely lived up to its commitments,” added the President.
Negotiation has basics, said Rouhani adding: “If somebody claims that they are willing to negotiate, they have to observe the basics, the first one of which is honesty that the two sides must believe in, as well as reaching a conclusion”.
“The person who is claiming to be willing to negotiate today, has withdrawn from all international commitments from Paris Agreement to its business commitments with other countries,” he added.
Rouhani also went on to say: “If somebody puts a knife in its opponent or enemy’s arm and says we want to negotiate; the answer is that they must first pull out the knife and then come to the negotiation table”.
He added: “I believe that their want to wage a psychological war and create scepticism in the Iranian people to be able to use it in the coming Congress elections. So, Trump’s remarks are aimed at taking advantage of them in Congress elections”.
“We negotiated with the current US administration as well, but they themselves left the table and what they do is that they are against the people and national interests of the Iranian nation; therefore, if there is honesty, Iran has always welcomed negotiation,” continued the President.
Rouhani also said: “Negotiation at the same time with sanctions is meaningless and these sanctions are targeting Iranian children and people”.
He continued: “I have no preconditions. If US administration is ready today, we’re ready to negotiate with them about the compensation that they must pay to Iranians since 1953”.
Stating that “China and Russia have stronger relations with us”, the President said: “We want broader relations with Europe and the world”.
“Our banking system’s issues are structural and chronic,” said the President, adding: “The new foreign currency package limits rent”.
He also went on to say: “The list of goods that the government provides to people with the official exchange rate will be published”.
President of the Islamic Republic of Iran also said: “All supervisory bodies of the country are monitoring the process of supplying people’s basic needs from the origin to the destination”.
Stating that “the market will determine the secondary exchange rate,” Rouhani added: “The foreign currency earned from all non-oil exports and even oil products will enter the secondary market”.
He also remarked: “If people deposit their foreign currency in banks, the Central Bank will guarantee to pay the main deposit and its interest in the same currency”.
“People can be sure that the government has put all its effort alongside the other branches to manage the economy,” added Rouhani.
In response to another question on European countries’ commitments in JCPOA, the president said: "Americans first sought to urge the other 5+1 countries to accompany them, and for the same reason, Trump called on his partners on January 12 to come and renegotiate the deal, but he did not succeed, and nobody responded to it positively, and he had to exit the deal alone”.
Rouhani stated: "US’ goal was to get Iran to immediately withdraw from the deal so that they could take the case to the Security Council; we have an achievement, and it is Resolution 2231 based on which the previous sanctions were lifted”.
“Secondly, the resolution urges all countries to support the deal and what has been agreed upon has been endorsed as a document and an international treaty in the United Nations Security Council,” continued Rouhani.
The president said: “The United States did not want to face Iran alone for sanctions, but wanted to force the whole world to boycott Iran. Trump wanted to take all of these achievements from us, and it is already calling for sanctions against Iran, but it has been unsuccessful”.
“Meanwhile, Europeans were opposed to this, and today, at the first step of the US embargo, Europeans stood up against the United States, declaring that the law prohibited sanctions or blockade, saying that any company working with Iran would be boycotted if they listen to US’ call for sanctions and boycott Iran”.
Pointing out that Europe today stands up to the United States while it has always been an ally to them, President added: "We are not alone all over the world, that is, all the countries around the world, with the exception of a few countries, support Iran, and consider Iran as a committed nation which can be trusted”.
President Rouhani said: “The deadline we set was based on the belief that others, meaning five other countries, would be able to compensate for this boycott and US pressures and maintain the JCPOA”.
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