Iranian President Hassan Rouhani signaled on Wednesday that talks with the United States might be possible if Washington lifted sanctions, days after US President Donald Trump said a deal with Tehran on its nuclear program was conceivable.
Washington withdrew last year from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Tehran, and is ratcheting up sanctions in efforts to shut down Iran’s economy by ending its international sales of crude oil.
Trump said on Monday: “I really believe that Iran would like to make a deal, and I think that’s very smart of them, and I think that’s a possibility to happen.”
Rouhani said in remarks carried by state television: “Whenever they lift the unjust sanctions and fulfill their commitments and return to the negotiations table, which they left themselves, the door is not closed.”
“But our people judge you by your actions, not your words.”
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said on Tuesday that Iran saw no prospect of negotiations with the United States.
Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States since Washington deployed military resources including a carrier strike group and bombers and announced plans to deploy 1,500 troops to the Middle East, prompting fears of a conflict.
On Wednesday, US National Security Adviser John Bolton said the ships sabotaged off the UAE coast “were navel mines almost certainly by Iran.”
He said the tanker attacks were connected to the strike on oil pumping stations on the Kingdom’s East-West pipeline and a rocket attack on the Green Zone in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.