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    Iranian flags flutter during an inauguration ceremony for new equipment and infrastructure  on February 25, 2019 at the Shahid Beheshti Port in the southeastern Iranian coastal city of Chabahar, on the Gulf of Oman. - With the web of US sanctions tightening, Iran faces a host of challenges as it looks to an isolated port in the country's far southeast to maintain the flow of goods.  The port in Chabahar, only about 100 kilometres (62 miles) from the Pakistan border and located on the Indian Ocean, is Iran's largest outside the Gulf. It is also the only Iranian port with exemptions from unilateral economic sanctions reimposed by the United States in 2018. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP)

    'I Said No': Trump Rebuffs Rouhani's Claim that US Offered to Lift All Sanctions on Iran for Talks

    © AFP 2019 / ATTA KENARE
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    Over the last year, Washington has imposed several rounds of various restrictions on Tehran amid a row over the Iranian nuclear deal and rising tensions in the Middle East.

    President Hassan Rouhani announced on Friday that the United States has offered to drop all sanctions against Iran in exchange for negotiations.

    "The German chancellor, the prime minister of England (Britain) and the president of France were in New York and all insisted that this meeting take place. And America says that it will lift the sanctions", he said. "It was up for debate what sanctions will be lifted and they had said clearly 'we will lift all sanctions'".

    In this file handout photo taken on April 09, 2019 by the Iranian presidential office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (2nd L) listens to the head of Iran's nuclear technology organisation Ali Akbar Salehi (R) during the nuclear technology day in Tehran.
    © AFP 2019 / HO
    In this file handout photo taken on April 09, 2019 by the Iranian presidential office, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (2nd L) listens to the head of Iran's nuclear technology organisation Ali Akbar Salehi (R) during the "nuclear technology day" in Tehran.

    "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", the president added.

    However, US President Donald Trump claimed it was the Iranian side asking for restrictions to be cancelled, but that he refused to do so.

    Rouhani's statement comes mere days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Washington won't change its policy and continue slapping sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

    During the last year, the White House has repeatedly announced that it is ready to start talks with Iran without preconditions, while Iranian officials have stressed that the US has to change its policies and lift restrictions before any talks are possible.

    Rouhani's statement comes mere days after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Washington wouldn’t change its policy and would continue to slap sanctions on the Islamic Republic in order to change Tehran's stance.

    © AP Photo / Ebrahim Noroozi
    Корпус стражей исламской революции на военном параде

    Washington re-imposed sanctions on Iran after withdrawing from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Iranian nuclear deal, in May 2018.

    Precisely one year later, Tehran scrapped some of its "voluntary commitments" to the JCPOA, as the EU and other states had failed to resist the sanctions pressure from the US. Iranian officials also vowed to roll back on other commitments every 60 days, escalating tensions even more.

    Attacks on Saudi Arabia

    Rouhani also said that the European countries that blamed Iran for the September attacks on Saudi oil compounds have no viable information about the incident.

    "I asked them on what basis and evidence they were making such an allegation against Iran. I frankly and firmly told them to send me the evidence as I needed it", Rouhani said. "They replied based on the investigations conducted by their experts, the capabilities of Yemenis, or as they say the Houthis, are less than [what required for] this operation".

    Drones struck Saudi Aramco's Abqaiq and Khurais oil processing facilities on 14 September, causing major fires. The incident led to a cut in oil production totalling 5.7 million barrels per day — about half of the kingdom's daily oil output.

    Several days later, the Saudi Defence Ministry held a press conference claiming that it had evidence of Iran's involvement in the attacks, which Tehran has denied.

    However, the US, UK, Germany, and France also rushed to accuse Iran, despite the fact that Yemen's Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthi movement, had claimed responsibility for the strike.

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    Tags:
    Sanctions, Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Hassan Rouhani, United States, Iran
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