Rouhani: Iran will never hold talks with US 'under pressure'
Iran has said will never hold talks with the United States under pressure, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday (February 16), adding that Tehran's help was essential in establishing security in the Middle East.
Relations between the United States and Iran have been at boiling point for almost two years since U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 pact between Iran and world powers, under which Tehran had accepted to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.
Speaking in the capital on Sunday (February 16) Ionian President Hassan Rouhani.
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) PRESIDENT OF IRAN, HASSAN ROUHANI, SAYING: "What they thought - is that they could use maximum pressure to make us sit at the negotiating table from a position of weakness - is not possible and we have talked to the world with power and dignity, but we will never negotiate from a position of weakness.
We said if the United States goes back to the JCPOA nuclear deal, if they avoid sanctioning of Iran, then they can be present in the form of UN Security Council Members and negotiate.
Until this is done, negotiations with United States will not be possible." Tensions spiked further following the killing of Iran's most prominent military commander Qassem Soleimani in Janaury.
In retaliation, Iran attacked U.S. targets in Iraq.
Trump has adopted a policy of "maximum pressure" to force Tehran to negotiate a broader deal that further curbs Iran's nuclear work, ending its missile program and its involvement in regional proxy wars.
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