Iran's Rouhani: We're open to talks if U.S. shows respect

Iran's Rouhani: We're open to talks if U.S. shows respect

Iran's Rouhani: We're open to talks if U.S. shows respect

Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear program in return for lifting worldwide sanctions. Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in return for lifting worldwide sanctions.

Washington re-imposed sanctions a year ago and ratchetted them up in May, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.

While the Saudis try to form a united front against its arch-rival, the USA military has already mustered a massive force in the region, including an aircraft carrier and B-52 bombers, right on Iran's doorsteps under the pretext of countering "clear indications" of threats to American interests from the Islamic Republic.

In one of his latest comments on Tehran, President Donald Trump said on May 30, that the USA would "certainly negotiate" with Iran if Tehran made a move.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has likened negotiations with the Trump administration to "poison" since "they don't stand by anything", referring to Washington's withdrawal from the deal. "We aren't looking for regime change - I just want to make that clear". Rouhani had previously signaled talks might be possible if sanctions were lifted.

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But US President Donald Trump said Monday that Washington does not seek "regime change" in Iran and held out the possibility of talks.

"The same enemy which declared its aim previous year to destroy the Islamic republic of Iran today explicitly states that it does not want to do anything to [our] system", Rohani said.

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Switzerland as part of a four-country European tour to assure allies that despite US intentions to step up economic pressure on Tehran with sanctions, Washington was not seeking war, and may explore opening a channel of communications with Tehran.

Mr Pompeo accused Iran of being behind the attacks in a bid to increase oil prices.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that the Islamic Republic offered Gulf states dialogue after clinching the nuclear deal in 2015, revealing that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman's reply was by threatening to take the battle into Iran.

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