- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Iran would be open to nuclear talks with the U.S. if Washington apologizes for pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal that lifted sanctions on Tehran in exchange for limits on its nuclear development, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday.

His comments come just hours before the United Nations Security Council is expected to start negotiations over a U.S.-led plan to extend an arms embargo on Iran that was part of the Obama-era deal and is set to expire this October.

The U.S., which pulled out of the deal in 2018, has called for an extension of the embargo and has threatened to launch a resurgence of all U.N. sanctions in a move to gain backing from the U.N. Security Council to extend the arms embargo.

“We have no problem with talks with the U.S.,” Mr. Rouhani said in a televised address Wednesday, “but only if Washington fulfills its obligations under the nuclear deal, apologies and compensates Tehran for its withdrawal from the 2015 deal.”

“But we know these calls for talks with Tehran are just words and lies,” he continued.

Earlier this month, President Trump urged Iran to return to the negotiating table and strike a new deal to limit its nuclear program.

“Don’t wait until after U.S. Election to make the Big deal. I’m going to win. You’ll make a better deal now!” he tweeted.

The U.S. has held a so-called “maximum pressure campaign” aimed at crippling Iran’s economy and leadership.

Iran thus far has rejected talks with the U.S. unless it sees some of the sanctions lifted and rejoins the original deal.

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