ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – There is no point in having a dialogue with people who impose a ban on Iran, the Islamic Republic’s President, Hassan al-Rouhani, argued on Monday as he addressed newly imposed US sanctions.
Rouhani’s words came as the Trump administration announced the first stage of re-imposed economic sanctions on Iran, in a live interview with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, a government-owned media outlet.
During his speech, Rouhani demanded compensation for “damages” caused by the western nation’s sanctions, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, noting that negotiations with US President Donald Trump are a fruitless endeavor.
“In conjunction with sanctions,” Rouhani argued, talks with the head of the US administration are “pointless.” He added, “a person who calls for negotiations must show that he really wants to resolve issues through dialogue.”
Describing it as a form of “psychological war,” the Iranian President claimed Washington’s move aims to “undermine Iranian democracy” —with elections planned to take place in the coming months — and “create doubt” in the minds of people.
“What Trump has done is against the Iranian people and their interests,” Rouhani said. “If there is honesty, Iran has always accepted to negotiate.”
Except for the US’s willingness to discuss reparations and apologies they have to give to Iran, Rouhani alleged he has no other preconditions to enter negotiations with America.
The Iranian economy, already frail, took a big hit in response to the May 8 US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal. Since then, the Riyal has lost 40 percent of its value.
This fact, among other unaddressed issues plaguing the country, has fueled protests which demonstrators claim security forces have been deployed to disperse.
About the protests, Rouhani insisted they were a response by “a limited number of people” to “calls by foreign media and social media outlets to cause turmoil.”
In late July, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement in which he expressed US support for the protests against the Iranian regime which he said “is squandering its citizens’ resources,” whether through “its adventurism in Syria, its support for Hezbollah, Hamas, and the Houthis, or its ambitions for wastefully expanding its nuclear program.”
Rouhani in his Monday evening speech, however, stated he had no worries regarding Iran’s national security and was ready to address — without explaining how — water and electricity shortages, environmental pollution, and weakened currency affecting Iranians.
Editing by Nadia Riva