- "From the perspective of the Iranian government, parliament and the Iranian people, there is no sense in negotiating with the United States in the face of sanctions," Mr. Rouhani said on Wednesday night.
- The French president is seeking to prevent a complete collapse of the nuclear deal, called the JCPOA, by reducing the tensions between the two countries and mediating between Tehran and Washington.
- In an exclusive report Wednesday from The Daily Beast, President Trump is actively considering Macron's proposal for a $15 billion line of credit for Iran.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, in a telephone call with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, said that talks with the United States would be “meaningless,” unless sanctions are lifted. Rouhani also said that “if agreements with Europe are finalized, we’re ready to return to JCPOA commitments, and a meeting between Iran and the 5+1 is only possible when sanctions are lifted.”
The two presidents have been talking to each other about the Iran nuclear deal and tensions in the Persian Gulf. “From the perspective of the Iranian government, parliament and the Iranian people, there is no sense in negotiating with the United States in the face of sanctions,” Mr. Rouhani said on Wednesday night.
The French president is seeking to prevent a complete collapse of the nuclear deal, called the JCPOA, by reducing the tensions between the two countries and mediating between Tehran and Washington. Iran stepped back from its commitments under the deal two months ago, citing Europe’s inability or unwillingness to provide Iran with economic benefits— in particular, the ability to sell oil, according to a scheduled timetable.
Prior to Wednesday evening’s remarks, Iran’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, had also said, “we have repeatedly stated and the Iranian President has also made clear his views, as long as these cruel sanctions and economic terrorism of the US government against the people of Iran, goes on, Iran has no place to talk.” The remarks by Iranian officials can be seen as a reaction to US President Donald Trump’s remarks on Wednesday, saying that there is a possibility of lowering sanctions on Iran before a meeting with Hassan Rouhani.
On Wednesday morning, Mr. Trump, who faced a slew of questions from journalists about the reasons for his National Security Adviser, John Bolton’s dismissal, told reporters that he believed “Tehran was seeking an agreement with Washington”. Today, The Jerusalem Post reported that Mr. Trump is considering lowering sanctions on Iran. The report says US Treasury Secretary Steven Manuchin agrees.
In another report on the US Bloomberg website, a reduction in Iranian sanctions aimed at meeting Hassan Rouhani was met with serious opposition from John Bolton, and shortly after this sharp opposition, Donald Trump urged him to step down. According to Bloomberg, the idea that the US would reduce Iran’s sanctions, so that the US president can meet with the Iranian president, was raised Monday at a meeting in the White House, where the Treasury Secretary backed the plan.
In an exclusive report Wednesday from The Daily Beast, President Trump is actively considering Macron’s proposal for a $15 billion line of credit for Iran. According to the report, the “good fortune” appears to have been strengthened during a recent summit of the G7 in France, on the sidelines of which Mohammad Javad Zarif also had an unexpected and brief trip to the venue. The Daily Beast quotes two of the magazine’s news sources saying that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has no problem with the French proposal.
So perhaps the only impediment to Mr. Macron’s plan to succeed is that he must seek Mr. Trump’s approval of the Iranian oil sales credit line. Europe has sought to offset some of Iran’s economic woes after the return of US sanctions with the opening of the Intex financial system, but it appears necessary to provide a $15 billion credit line to exempt US sanctions.