Published: Wed, September 04, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

Iran’s Rouhani rules out bilateral talks with U.S.

Iran’s Rouhani rules out bilateral talks with U.S.

The French leader has been trying to convince the United States to offer Iran some sort of relief from sanctions it has imposed on the Islamic republic since pulling out of the deal in May past year.

"If the United States lifts all sanctions, it would be possible to talk during 5+1 meetings as in the past", he said. He also expressed appreciation to his Iranian colleagues "for detailed confidential information and their assessment of how far along this process has gone now".

"Iran's and France's points of view have grown closer", Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference in Tehran, adding that Iran was "moving forward and advancing" in its efforts to resolve the crisis through talks.

The Iranian foreign minister went on to condemn the United States and Israel so-called peace plan for Palestine dubbed as the Deal of the Century, adding that the situation in Afghanistan and the very risky situation in Yemen are a matter of concern and have prompted Iran and Russian Federation to hold talks as two neighboring countries.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves le Drian said talks on the credit arrangement, which would be guaranteed by Iranian oil revenues, were continuing, but USA approval would be crucial.

Araghchi will be making his second trip to Paris in less than six weeks, continuing the most substantive negotiations between Iran and a Western power since U.S. President Donald Trump exited the nuclear accord a year ago and slapped a slew of crippling sanctions on Iranian oil and other sectors.

Iran has warned it will take additional steps away from the accord on Friday if it doesn't get help from Europe to sell its oil overseas, calling it their "third step" away from the deal.

A European diplomatic source confirmed the $15 billion figure.

Iran insists that its nuclear programme is exclusively for peaceful purposes.

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.

When the USA withdrew from the deal, other parties to it voiced their support for the preservation of the JCPOA.

Iran has started to scale back its nuclear commitments since May and it will take further steps on September 5, aimed at ratcheting up pressure on the European parties of the pact to protect its economic interests despite the USA sanctions.

But the European powers have warned that their support for the deal is dependent on Iran's full commitment to it.

Enriching uranium up to 20% purity is considered an important intermediate stage on the path to obtaining the 90% pure fissile uranium needed for a bomb.

The third phase will include negotiations on Iran's regional role, said the sources.

It also said Iran's total stockpile of uranium, which under the accord should be no more than the equivalent of 300 kilograms (661 pounds) of uranium hexafluoride, now stood at roughly 360 kilograms. French officials declined to comment on the details of the plan.

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