FILE PHOTO: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting with tribal leaders in Kerbala, Iraq, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Abdullah Dhiaa Al-Deen
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran is ready to hold talks with the United States if Washington lifts sanctions and returns to the 2015 nuclear deal it exited last year, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Sunday.
“We have always believed in talks … if they lift sanctions, end the imposed economic pressure and return to the deal, we are ready to hold talks with America today, right now and anywhere,” Rouhani said.
Tension has heightened between the longtime foes since U.S. President Donald Trump last year withdrew from the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers and reimposed sanctions on Tehran that had been lifted under the pact.
In reaction to U.S. sanctions, which have notably targeted Iran’s main foreign revenue stream in the shape of crude oil exports, Tehran announced in May that it would scale back its commitments to the deal.
In defiance of a warning by European parties to the pact to continue its full compliance, Tehran has amassed more low-enriched uranium than permitted and it has started to enrich uranium above the 3.67% permitted under the agreement.
Writing by Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Catherine Evans