Donald Trump 'open' to new nuclear deal with Iran

Marcus Newton
August 7, 2018

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani dismissed a USA call for talks on Monday, hours before Washington was due to impose new sanctions in line with President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a 2015 agreement over Iran's nuclear programme.

If Iran wants to avoid the reimposition of USA sanctions it should take up President Donald Trump's offer to negotiate, White House national security adviser John Bolton said on Monday.

"He will meet with Iranian leadership at anytime to discuss a real, comprehensive deal that will contain their regional ambitions, will end their malign behaviour and deny them any paths to a nuclear weapon", the official said.

It will also ban EU businesses from complying with those United States sanctions, unless they get exceptional authorisation from the European Commission.

The U.S. military's Central Command confirmed on August 1 it has seen increased Iranian naval activity.

On 7 August, Washington will reimpose sanctions on Iran's purchase of USA dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.

The accord saw Iran limit its controversial nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief. Trump abandoned the deal in May.

They pledged to work on preserving financial flows and Iran's oil and gas exports - a lifeline of its economy.

Iran's currency, the rial, has tanked, losing about half its value against the dollar.

The plunge in the currency and soaring inflation have sparked sporadic demonstrations against profiteering and corruption, with many protesters chanting anti-government slogans. He again justified leaving the nuclear agreement (JCPOA) and left the door open to negotiations for new deal in the future.

"Even in the current new administration we talked with the Americans on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly", he said. "But talks needs honesty".

Rouhani fell back on the rhetoric of many of his predecessors by referencing the 1953 CIA-backed coup that overthrew Iran's elected prime minister and cemented the shah's rule.

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Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the act was "psychological warfare".

Trump plans to reintroduce more damaging sanctions on Iranian oil in November and wants as many countries as possible to cut their imports of Iranian oil to zero.

European foreign affairs chiefs have pledged to protect firms against the impact of U.S. sanctions for doing business with Iran.

European foreign ministers say they "deeply regret" the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran.

"The next 90 days will see increasing pressure culminating in" the reimposition of sanctions on Iran's energy sector, the third official said.

FILE PHOTO: A man walks past an anti-U.S. mural in Tehran, Iran October 13, 2017.

Despite the taunts, senior administration officials said Trump would still be willing to meet the Iranian leadership and refuted suggestions the United States was pushing for regime change. But he said Iran must change its ways.

"Although the Europeans are trying to solve the Iran nuclear deal and continue to do business with Iran, ultimately banks and companies do not listen to the government, they make their own decisions", he said. "Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences", Trump said in a statement about penalties that will go back into effect at 12:01am Tuesday.

The EU announced it would take legal steps to protect EU companies "doing legitimate business in Iran".

Trump had denounced the deal reached under his White House predecessor, Barack Obama, as one-sided in Iran's favor.

The British, French and German foreign ministers issued a joint statement with the EU's foreign policy chief saying the nuclear deal was working and was "crucial" for global security.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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