Rouhani: The key to future Iran-US relations in DC

Rouhani: The key to future Iran-US relations in DC
ID : N-1230 Date : 2018/02/07 - 11:01

(Persia Digest) – In a press conference with Iranian and foreign reporters yesterday, 7 February 2018, President Hassan Rouhani pointed out that if the US was interested in positive interaction with Iran, it could have used the 2015 nuclear agreement, the JCPOA, correctly. He added: “If the US had remained committed to all its obligations under the JCPOA, it would have led to a set of new conditions and we may have been able to discuss other topics with the US. Sadly, they have stepped over this golden opportunity. Both the previous administration who initiated the elimination of opportunities, and in particular the present administration that has destroyed it entirely. I have always emphasized that the key to future relations between Iran and the US is in Washington. They must put an end to their threats, sanctions, and pressures. This will open up new doors for new thoughts on the future.”

He talked about the JCPOA, and said: “I am very happy that Trump has not been able to kill the deal after a year of efforts. We don’t know what the US will do in the future. Even Trump’s close European allies find him unpredictable.”

He continued: “We will not be the initiators of violations against the JCPOA. Nothing will be added to the agreement, nor taken away from it. No lines will be added or deleted. We do not associate other issues with the JCPOA. This is an international agreement between seven countries backed by a UN Security Council resolution.”

Rouhani reiterated: “Trump makes the mistake of thinking that the JCPOA is a commitment of the Democrats. But, this is a commitment made by the US government. If it abrogates the deal, it will lose its own credibility.”

He emphasized: “We have made all the required projections. For as long as our interests lie in it, we will stay in the JCPOA. Whether the US will remain in the deal or not does not affect our decision. Our decision-making is based on whether the JCPOA safeguards our interests or not.”

The Iranian President also answered questions on regional issues: “We live in a region with complicated issues. We believe that solutions can be reached through peaceful negotiations with regional countries. But, we are also not hesitant in talking to world powers about it. We also talk to regional and trans-regional countries about our region.”

The President stressed that he sees no signs of Iran suffering from security and regional issues in 2018, and stated: “Our relations with the EU is better today than ever before. We also have good relations with Russia, China, and other regional countries. We have witnessed US failure in Syria and Iraq. We were able to eradicate terrorism, and the current US plans for Syria are also set to fail.”

Rouhani continued by answering questions about Iran’s missile program: “We will use any means necessary to defend our country – from aircrafts, to missiles, to submarines. But, we are not after WMDs. We have had no discussions about these with anyone. Iran’s missile program has always been a deterrent; it has never been or ever will be used to attack other countries. It is to defend our country and people.”

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