Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has told his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron that Iran would take part in a P5+1 meeting only if U.S. sanctions against Iran are lifted.
Mentioning P5+1 means that if the condition is met, Iran will take part in a meeting where the United States is also represented. The United States was one of the 5+1 with the UK, France, Germany as well as Russia and China before Washington left the nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Meanwhile, Rouhani told Macron during a telephone conversation on Wednesday September 11: “We are prepared to return to our obligations under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and take part in a meeting with the P5+1 when the sanctions are lifted.”
He added: “From the point of view of the government, parliament and the people of Iran there is no point in negotiating with the United States while the sanctions are still in place.”
Rouhani had set the same condition for meeting with Trump at least twice before, however, he retreated from his readiness to negotiate on September 3 and said : “Our policies are determined by the leader of Iran [Khamenei] and there is no difference in Iran over national issues.”
An hour before speaking with Macron, Rouhani alluded to the departure of U.S. national Security Adviser John Bolton from his post and said: “The Americans should understand that war-mongering and war-mongers do not serve their interests. Warmongers should be dismissed and the policy of maximum pressure should be set aside.”
Meanwhile, a Bloomberg reporter wrote in a tweet that in a meeting Monday morning Donald Trump talked about a reduction of sanctions against Iran to pave the way for a meeting with Rouhani. The Bloomberg reporter wrote, Bolton strongly opposed the idea while Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin agreed with the idea. John Bolton was removed from his post the following day.
SCOOP: Trump and top advisers on Monday in Oval discussed easing sanctions on Iran to help secure a mtg with Iran’s Rouhani at UNGA. Mnuchin voiced support. Bolton argued forcefully against. Trump accepted Bolton’s resignation next day.
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) September 11, 2019
This comes while White House spokesman Judd Deere had said on September 5 that during a conversation with Macron, Donald Trump had stressed that sanctions against Iran will not be lifted at this point.
Macron has spoken with Rouhani over the phone several times since July in an attempt to reduce tensions between Tehran and Washington.
Reports say France has offered a $15 billion credit to Iran to make up for Tehran’s losses as a result of sanctions on its oil sales on the condition that the United States approves the plan and grants sanction waivers to those who buy Iran’s oil.
Iran has demanded permission to sell $15 billion of oil for cash and decide on its own what it will do with the money. In practice, that would amount to full removal of U.S. sanctions – not just oil export sanctions but even banking restrictions.