Iran will never yield to US pressure for talks: Rouhani

February 17, 2020 09:26
Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference in Tehran on Sunday. Handout photo via Reuters

Iran will never hold talks with the United States under pressure, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, adding that Washington's tactics are doomed to failure.

“Iran will never negotiate under pressure ... We will never yield to America’s pressure and we will not negotiate from a position of weakness,” Rouhani said in a televised news conference in Tehran, Reuters reports.

“America’s ‘maximum pressure’ toward Iran is doomed to failure ... our enemy (the United States) is very well aware that their pressure is inefficient,” Rouhani said.

Relations between Tehran and Washington reached crisis point in 2018 after US President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 pact between Iran and world powers under which Tehran accepted curbs to its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Tensions spiked further following the killing of Iran’s most prominent military commander Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3 by US drone attacks at Baghdad airport. In retaliation, Iran attacked US targets in Iraq in January.

Trump has adopted a policy of “maximum pressure” to force Tehran to negotiate a broader deal that further curbs Iran’s nuclear work, ends its missile program and its involvement in regional proxy wars.

Although the reimposed US sanctions have crippled Iran’s economy, slashing its oil exports, Tehran has repeatedly dismissed talks over any new deal, saying they are possible only if the United States returns to the pact and lifts trade curbs.

“Securing peace and stability in the sensitive region of Middle East and in the Persian Gulf is impossible without Iran’s help,” Rouhani said.

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