President Rouhani remarked: “The U.S. should know that we are ready to implement the [nuclear] deal; we are ready to perform the JCPOA whole in exchange for whole, as we are also ready to perform part in exchange for part”. The same day, Rouhani spoke with the UK prime minister and maintained that the U.S. “did not withdraw from the deal with negotiation and their return does not require negotiation”. Too, the head of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) asserted that the “one who has left the JCPOA has to come back first… then we sit on the table within the framework of the 5+1 and talk whatever issues that are deemed to be talked about”. Relatedly, U.S. Special Representative for Iran Rob Malley indicated that “direct talks are more effective and less prone to misunderstanding, but for us the substance is more important than the format”. “Possible U.S. steps with regard to sanctions can be on the table but we need to get into a conversation with Iran, whether direct or indirect”, another senior U.S. official maintained, adding: “the president will not take unilateral steps when it comes to removing sanctions. Any substantial move by the U.S. will have to be part of a process in which both sides take actions”.
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