Iran's President Makes a Demand Before New Talks

Rouhani says US must lift sanctions before he'll meet Trump
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 27, 2019 9:16 AM CDT
French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump attend the final press conference during the G7 summit Monday, Aug. 26, 2019 in Biarritz, southwestern France.   (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
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(Newser) – Iran's president back-pedaled Tuesday on possible talks with President Trump, saying Trump must first lift sanctions imposed on Tehran. Hassan Rouhani's change of heart came a day after Trump said Monday that there's a "really good chance" the two could meet on their nuclear impasse after a surprise intervention by French President Emmanuel Macron during the G-7 summit, per the AP. "Without the US' withdrawal from sanctions, we will not witness any positive development," Rouhani said in a televised speech on Tuesday, adding that Washington "holds the key" as to what happens next. "If someone intends to make it as just a photo op with Rouhani, that is not possible," he said.

On Monday, Rouhani expressed readiness to negotiate a way out of the crisis following America's pullout from the nuclear deal. "If I knew that going to a meeting and visiting a person would help my country's development and resolve the problems of the people, I would not miss it," he said. "Even if the odds of success are not 90% but are 20% or 10%, we must move ahead with it. We should not miss opportunities." On Tuesday, Macron acknowledged his efforts to bring Iran and the US together are "fragile," but said he still sees a "possible path" to rapprochement between the two.

(Read more Iran stories.)

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