Rouhani: Negotiation with US would be ‘waste of time’
At a presser after his speech at the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York, Rouhani said there could be no future dialogue with the US at a time when Washington speaks of leaving the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement with the P5+1 group of countries.
“We held negotiations for many years on [the nuclear] agreement…, but today the Americans talk of leaving the deal. So why should negotiations on other issues be held [with the US]?” Rouhani told reporters on Wednesday night.
Given the current situation, holding talks with the US “would be a waste of time,” the Iranian president added.
Rouhani further added that the country had “various options” such as “the removal of obstacles” if Washington pulls out of the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“It means that our hand would be completely open to take any action that we see as beneficial to our country,” he added.
Rouhani also said that US President Donald Trump should “apologize to the Iranian nation” for his UN speech, which he said was a violation of the JCPOA.
During his speech at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Trump accused Iran of engaging in “destabilizing activities” in the region.
He also claimed that Iran’s “support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing.”
Trump also denounced the nuclear agreement as “an embarrassment” that Washington may abandon.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
Backed by UN Security Council Resolution 2231, the JCPOA is an international agreement, which makes it impossible for any party to the deal to withdraw from it.
Since Trump took office, the US has repeatedly threatened to abandon the agreement.
“We don’t think Trump will walk out of the deal despite (his) rhetoric and propaganda,” added Rouhani. “Either the nuclear deal remains as it is or it will collapse,” he added.