Rouhani to Trump: Lift sanctions, then we’ll talk

Iran’s president said Trump first must lift sanctions on Iran before he’ll sit down for talks.

By Associated Press

Iran’s president has back-pedaled on possible talks with Donald Trump and now says the U.S. president first must lift sanctions imposed on Tehran.

Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that otherwise, a meeting between the two would be just a photo op and “that is not possible.”

Rouhani’s change of heart came a day after Trump said Monday there’s a good chance the two could meet after a surprise intervention by French President Emmanuel Macron during the G-7 summit to try to bring Washington and Tehran together.

Rouhani says that “without the U.S.’s withdrawal from sanctions, we will not witness any positive development.” He added that Washington “holds the key.”

Earlier on Monday, Rouhani expressed readiness to negotiate a way out of the crisis following America’s pullout from the nuclear deal.

President Donald Trump says he’d meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani if the right circumstances exist to resolve the nuclear standoff with Tehran.

On Monday, at the Group of Seven summit in France, Trump said he won’t ease sanctions ahead of a possible meeting with the Iranians or provide compensation if Iran agrees to certain conditions.

But Tehran “may need some money to get over a very rough patch” caused by U.S. economic sanctions, he added.

Rouhani initially said he would travel anywhere to meet if it will help his country.