Rouhani Says Iran Will Never Yield to U.S. Pressure for Talks

DUBAI—Iran will never hold talks with the United States under pressure, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday, adding that Tehrans help was essential in establishing security in the Middle East.

Relations between Tehran and Washington reached a crisis point in 2018 after U.S. 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 Irans most prominent military commander Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3 by U.S. drone attacks at Baghdad airport. In retaliation, Iran attacked U.S. targets in Iraq in January.

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

“Iran will never negotiate under pressure … We will never yield to Americas pressure, and we will not negotiate from a position of weakness,” Rouhani said in a televised news conference.

Although the reimposed U.S. sanctions have crippled Irans 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.

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

Iran has been involved in decades of regional proxy wars with its key regional rival Saudi Arabia, from Syria to Iraq. European and Arab states have since scrambled to avert a full-fledged conflict between the two sides.

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The Epoch Times