Iran’s Rouhani dismisses Trump call for talks on eve of new sanctions

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed a US call for talks on Tuesday, the eve of the imposition of new sanctions that follows Washington's decision to pull out of an agreement over Iran's nuclear program.

The United States is due to impose new sanctions against Iran on Tuesday intended to cripple its economy, implementing President Donald Trump's decision to break with European allies and exit the 2015 agreement.

Washington has said the only way Iran could avert the sanctions would be to agree to new negotiations over its missile and nuclear programs.

“We are always in favor of diplomacy and talks ... But talks needs honesty,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

“The US re-imposes sanctions on Iran and pulls out of the (2015) nuclear deal, and then wants to hold talks with us,” he said. “Trump's call for direct talks is only for domestic consumption in America ahead of elections ... and to create chaos in Iran.”

Under the 2015 agreement, Iran agreed to curb on its nuclear program in return for the lifting of economic sanctions. The Trump administration argues that the curbs did not go far enough and it wants to force Iran back to the negotiating table.

Iran says that by abandoning the agreement Washington has shown it cannot negotiate in good faith. Last Month, Trump said that he would be willing to meet Rouhani without preconditions to discuss how to improve relations.

Senior Iranian officials and military commanders have rejected Trump’s offer of talks as worthless and “a dream”, saying his words contradicted his action of re-imposing sanctions.

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