US talks meaningless until sanctions in place: Iran


Tehran, Sep 12 (IANS): Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that talks with the US were meaningless as long as American sanctions against Tehran were still in place.

Speaking to his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron over phone on Wednesday, Rouhani said the US violated its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal once it decided to withdraw from it in May 2018, reports Press TV.

"From the viewpoint of Iran's government, parliament and people, as long as there are sanctions in place, there is no point in negotiating with the US," he said.

Ever since quitting the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), US President Donald Trump has been trying to force Iran into accepting a more wide-ranging alternative that curbs Tehran's missile programme and regional influence.

"It is imperative that the European Union and France play their role in preserving the JCPOA the best they can," he told Macron.

Macron, for his part, detailed his government's negotiations with the US and said that France would continue efforts to implement the deal.

He also laid out his country's future plans for the negotiations. The two leaders also agreed to continue talks.

In response to the pressure and a lack of willingness by the European signatories of the deal -- the UK, France and Germany -- to offset it, Iran has over the past months started to cut back on its commitments under the agreement, Press TV reported.

In the first stage of its response, Iran increased enriched uranium stockpile to over the 300 kg cap defined in the JCPOA. As a second step, Iran started to enrich uranium beyond the 3.67 percent purity limit required by the deal.

The third step, revealed last week, Tehran told Europe that it was removing all limits on nuclear research and development.

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