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
Iran President Skeptical of 'Photo Op' With Trump
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)

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.

(More Iran stories.)

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