Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has urged the international community to stand up to Washington’s anti-Iranian sanctions, which he said ride roughshod over all countries, including the United States itself.
“We hope all our friends around the world, including South Africa, will take a more decisive stance against the US illegal and inhumane actions towards the Iranian nation which even include food and medicine sanctions,” Rouhani said during a meeting with the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor on Wednesday as cited by Iran’s Tasnim news agency.
The Iranian President also condemned the US’ “economic war" against Tehran following Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, also known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Pandor lauded Iran remaining committed to the JCPOA, calling on the US to return to the deal and scrap the Iranian sanctions.
Rouhani’s remarks followed his statement late last month that the US had offered to drop all sanctions against Iran in exchange for negotiations.
“But this action wasn't in a manner that was acceptable, meaning that in the atmosphere of sanctions and the existence of sanctions and the toxic atmosphere of maximum pressure, even if we want to negotiate with the Americans in the 5+1 framework [which also includes Russia, China, Germany, France, and the UK], no one can predict what the end and result of this negotiation will be,” Rouhani pointed out.
US President Donald Trump claimed at the time that it was the Iranian side which was asking for restrictions to be cancelled, but that he refused to do so.
Tehran Ready for Talks With US If Washington Lifts Sanctions, Rouhani Says
Earlier, Rouhani underscored that Iran is ready to hold negotiations with the United States if Washington lifts the anti-Iranian sanctions and gives up its “bullying" policy toward Tehran.
He added that Iran had shifted its approach from “strategic patience” to “reciprocal action” and would respond in kind to any of Washington’s steps related to the nuclear deal.
Rouhani spoke as Berlin, Paris, and London called for a dialogue between all parties to the JCPOA, warning that the deal risks falling apart due to the US sanctions against Iran and Tehran’s decision to partially discontinue its obligations under the agreement.
Iran Suspends Some of Its JCPOA Obligations
On 8 May 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the JCPOA and imposed several rounds of economic sanctions on Iran. Exactly a year later, Tehran announced its own decision to partially suspend some obligations under the JCPOA deal, also giving the other signatories - France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, China, and the European Union - 60 days to save the accord by facilitating oil exports and trade with Iran.
On 7 July as the deadline expired, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Araghchi announced that his country was ready to begin enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 percent level set in the JCPOA, adding that Tehran would continue to gradually abandon its nuclear commitments every 60 days.