Iran is still ready to engage in negotiations regarding its nuclear programme, on the condition that the US halts its economic pressure on the country, President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday.
"If they are prepared to put aside the sanctions, we are ready to talk and negotiate, even at the level of heads of the 5+1 countries", Rouhani stressed.
Iran has been gradually scrapping its obligations under the nuclear deal since May, a year after the US withdrew from the Iranian nuclear accord, on 8 May 2018.
At the time, Washington moved to reinstate crippling sanctions against Iran’s banking and energy sectors. Other parties to the agreement attempted to find a means to evade the restrictions to keep the deal alive. However, Iran complained that these efforts weren't working effectively.
The Iranian nuclear deal was inked in 2015 in Vienna. Under the agreement, Tehran was required to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related international sanctions.
On Protests in Iran
Rouhani also called for the release of innocent people detained during the course of protests that rocked the Middle Eastern country.
"Religious and Islamic clemency should be shown and those innocent people who protested against petrol price hikes and were not armed ... should be released," he said.
Protests broke out in several provinces in November over the government’s decision to suddenly increase the price of gasoline, with some of the rallies turning violent and leading to casualties among protesters and security forces.