Rouhani says Iran’s answer to talks with US will always be negative

Last month, Rouhani said Iran would not talk to its longtime foe until the United States lifted all of the sanctions it reimposed after it exited a 2015 nuclear deal last year. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 September 2019

Rouhani says Iran’s answer to talks with US will always be negative

  • Donald Trump, although applying “maximum pressure” on Iran, has offered to meet its leaders and hold bilateral talks
  • European parties to the deal have struggled to calm the deepening confrontation between Iran and the United States

DUBAI: Iran will always have a negative answer to any offer of bilateral talks with the United States, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday.

“No decision has ever been taken to hold talks with the US and there has been a lot of offers for talks but our answer will always be negative,” Rouhani told an open session of parliament carried live by state radio.

US President Donald Trump, although applying “maximum pressure” on Iran, has offered to meet its leaders and hold bilateral talks with no pre-conditions to end the confrontation between their countries.

Last month, Rouhani said Iran would not talk to its longtime foe until the United States lifted all of the sanctions it reimposed after it exited a 2015 nuclear deal last year.

European parties to the deal have struggled to calm the deepening confrontation between Iran and the United States and save the deal by shielding Iran’s economy from the sanctions. Iran has called on them to accelerate their efforts.


Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

Updated 28 min 31 sec ago

Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

  • EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities as demanded by the US is not a genuine cease-fire
  • He calls on Ankara to immediately stop military operations,

BRUSSELS/ANKARA: Macron critizes Turkey's aggression in Syria as "madness', bewails NATO inaction

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has bemoaned Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria as “madness” and decried NATO’s inability to react to the assault as a “serious mistake.”

“It weakens our credibility in finding partners on the ground who will be by our side and who think they will be protected in the long term. So that raises questions about how NATO functions.”

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities is not a genuine cease-fire and called on Ankara to immediately stop military operations in Syria.

Dareen Khalifa, a senior Syria analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the cease-fire had unclear goals. 

There was no mention of the scope of the area that would be under Turkish control and, despite US Vice President Mike Pence referring to a 20-mile zone, the length of the zone remains ambiguous, she said.

Selim Sazak, a doctoral researcher at Brown University, believed the agreement would be implemented and the YPG would withdraw.

“The agency of the YPG is fairly limited. If the deal collapses because of the YPG, it’s actually all the better for Ankara,” he told Arab News. “What Ankara originally wanted was to take all of the belt into its control and eliminate as many of the YPG forces as possible. Instead, the YPG is withdrawing with a portion of its forces and its territory intact. Had the deal collapsed because of the YPG, Ankara would have reason to push forward, this time with much more legitimacy.”