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  • U.S. President Donald Trump waves as walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington, U.S.

    U.S. President Donald Trump waves as walks on the South Lawn of the White House upon his return to Washington, U.S. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 July 2019

Tensions between Washington and Tehran are at a decade-long-high since Iran downed a U.S. reconnaissance plane over the Strait of Hormuz in June. 

Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts the sanctions against the Islamic Republic and ends their ‘bullying’ tactics, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani stated on Sunday.

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Iran Ready for Talks If US Lifts Sanctions: Rouhani

“We are always ready for negotiation. I tell you this hour and this moment to abandon bullying and lift the sanctions and return to logic and wisdom. We are ready", Rouhani said, as quoted by the Mehr news agency.

Rouhani said that Iran shifted its approach from “strategic patience” to “reciprocal action”, adding that they would respond to any of the U.S.’ steps related to the nuclear deal.

However, not everyone seems to be on board with this, including the U.S. administration.

Despite calling for talks with Iranian leaders, Trump said on Wednesday that U.S. sanctions on Iran would soon be increased “substantially”.

In an interview with the Washington Post newspaper, Pompeo dismissed Rouhani’s idea as “the same offer that he offeredto John F. Kerry and Barack Obama,” referring to the former U.S. secretary of state and president.

“President Trump will obviously make the final decision. But this is a path that the previous administration had gone down and it led to the (Iran nuclear deal) which this administration, President Trump and I both believe was a disaster,” Pompeo said.

Confrontations between Washington and Tehran have escalated, culminating in an aborted plan for U.S. air strikes on Iran last month after Tehran downed a U.S. drone. Trump called off the retaliatory U.S. air strike at the last minute.

Calling for dialogue among all to resume, France, Britain and Germany - parties to the 2015 pact - said on Sunday they were preoccupied by the escalation of tensions in the Gulf region and the risk the nuclear deal might fall apart.

“We believe that the time has come to act responsibly and to look for ways to stop the escalation of tension and resume dialogue,” they said in a joint statement that was released by the French president’s office.

On May 8th, 2018, US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew his country from the JCPOA and imposed several rounds of economic sanctions on Iran. A year later, Tehran announced its own decision to partially suspend some obligations under the deal and 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.

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