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Rouhani: US must 'lift sanctions, apologise' before Iran returns to negotiations

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Sochi, Russia on 14 February 2019 [Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency]
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Sochi, Russia on 14 February 2019 [Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency]

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday that his country would only negotiate with the United States if Washington lifted sanctions imposed on Tehran and apologised.

"We have always been a man of negotiation and diplomacy, the same way that we've been a man of war and defence. Negotiation is only possible if all the pressures are lifted, they apologise for their illegal actions and there is mutual respect," Rouhani said, adding that the United States is not serious about negotiations with Tehran.

Remarking on the US decision not to renew exemptions for Iranian oil buyers, Rouhani said "the United States will not succeed in its efforts to reduce Iranian oil exports to zero, and we will continue to sell oil by various means. The United States does not have the strength to control the world oil markets."

"Iran has very good relations with most neighbouring countries, with the exception of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates," he said.

READ: Saudi Arabia welcomes US decision to cancel sanctions waivers for Iranian oil

Addressing Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, Rouhani said: "The Trump phase will be over, and we will remain neighbours for many years. You should consider permanent friendship in the region."

US State Secretary Mike Pompeo has recently announced that his country will not renew waivers granted to eight countries who buy Iranian oil, namely Turkey, China, India, Italy, Greece, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

The waiver expires in May.

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Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaIranMiddle EastNewsRussiaUS
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