In remarks on his return from the UN General Assembly, President Rouhani argued that the U.S. “propagandised about being ready for negotiation, and that it is Iran who is stubborn. They had sent messages to almost all European and non-European leaders that they wanted one-to-one negotiations between the two Presidents, but we had rejected it, saying that negotiations had to be done in the framework of P5+1, and they accepted”. He went on to say that E3 leaders “all insisted for the meeting to be held, saying that the U.S. would lift all sanctions…but the problem here is that under sanctions and maximum pressure, even if we want to negotiate with the Americans within the framework of P5+1, nobody can predict about the end and upshot of the negotiation”. The same day, President Trump stated that “Iran wanted me to lift the sanctions imposed on them in order to meet. I said, of course, no!”. In related comments, a senior U.S. official reiterated that “we don’t need mediation; we need the Iranians to accept direct talks with the U.S., and we are willing to do so. But that’s up to the Iranians”.
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