Rouhani: Iran will negotiate with the US if it lifts sanctions and apologizes

“The hostility would not be left unanswered,” said Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in response to oil sanctions.

By World Israel News Staff

Iran is prepared to hold talks with the U.S. only once Washington lifts pressure on Tehran and apologizes, says Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. His comments, made on Wednesday, were reported in state media and cited by the Reuters news agency.

“We have always been a man of negotiation and diplomacy, the same way that we’ve been a man of war and defense. Negotiation is only possible if all the pressures are lifted, they apologize for their illegal actions and there is mutual respect,” Rouhani was quoted as saying.

Oil prices hit their highest level since November on Tuesday after the U.S. announced that starting  next week, waivers that have been granted on imports of Iranian oil would end and sanctions would take effect. Washington announced sanctions on Iran as part of President Donald Trump’s withdrawal announced last May from the nuclear pact reached by the U.S. and five other world powers with Tehran in 2015.

The declared end to the waivers now pressures importers to stop buying from Iran and would reduce the global supply.

Reacting to the move to stop Iranian oil exports, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, “their attempts will get nowhere,” according to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

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“The supreme leader said that U.S. officials assume that they have blocked the way, but if the active Iranian people and the vigilant officials buckle down, they would reopen the paths,” reported IRNA.

Khamenei vowed that “the hostility would not be left unanswered. Iranian people are not the type to stand idle in the face of U.S. enmities,” the news agency said.