Tehran (TT) – In an indirect reference to the U.S. administration late on Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran holds talks with someone who shows respect and acts within the framework of international law.
“We are logical and we do hold talks; if they sit at the negotiating table with respect and within the framework of international law and not just order negotiation. In that case, we will not follow,” he said during a meeting with a group of athletes.
He noted that Iran will not surrender to powers who bully and make excessive demands.
“The same enemy who declared its aim last year to destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran, today explicitly states that it does not want to do anything to (our) system. The same enemy who claimed it is the biggest military power in the world and is able to destroy the Iranian armed forces if it wants, today announces that it does not seek war,” Rouhani stated.
Also on Wednesday, Rouhani said that “road to diplomacy” is not closed if the U.S. abides by its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.
The remarks by Rouhani came two days after Trump told reporters in a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo that the United States is not seeking “regime change” in Iran.
Rouhani also echoed remarks by his foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif who said on May 21 that it is “actions” and “not words” which will show Donald Trump’s intent.
“We pay attention to actions and not words. The path is not blocked if they stop practicing wrong deeds against the Iranian people and imposing sanctions and instead abide by their commitments and return to the negotiating table that they themselves left,” Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting.
He added, “If you choose another way in practice and abandon cruel deeds in your decisions, the Iranian people will open the way for you.”
In an interview with Al-Alam News Network aired on Friday, Zarif said that the U.S. administration sometimes speaks harshly and sometimes positively, however, what is important to Iran is actions and not words.
The U.S. has launched an economic war against Iran and threatens others if they seek to have relations with Iran, Zarif pointed out.
“This is a policy that the U.S. must abandon. This policy must be stopped. This is the policy of bullying and economic terrorism that must be stopped,” he insisted.
The chief diplomat said such policy will not work against Iran.
However, Zarif said that Iran is so powerful that it can stand against any threat.
Elsewhere, he said that the issue of talks with the U.S. should be decided by the country’s top officials.
“We believe that the prerequisite to this issue is that negotiation should have a meaning. Dialogue makes sense when the other side abides by its commitments. We held talks with the U.S. for several months. We do not see any difference between the former government of the U.S. and the current one. Certain people think that we have problems with Mr. Trump. It is not so. As I said, we negotiated with the U.S. administration but it did not fulfill its obligations. During Obama’s tenure, the U.S. did not fulfill all of its obligations. During Trump’s time, the U.S. administration clearly left the nuclear deal. It shows that there is no administration that we can hold talks with,” he lamented.
This post was originally written for and published by Tehran Times and appears here with permission.