Iranian president Hassan Rouhani started off the week by sending mixed messages.
On Monday, he said he wanted to sit down talk to the U.S. asap, but then also called President Donald Trump untrustworthy.
“I don’t have preconditions. If the US government is willing, let’s start right now. If there is sincerity, Iran has always welcomed dialogue and negotiations,” said Rouhani Monday evening. “The person who is claiming to be willing to negotiate today has withdrawn from all international commitments, from Paris Agreement (on climate change) to its business commitments with other countries.”
But the next day, Rouhani said Iran won’t be entering talks with the U.S. in response to Trump signing an executive order late Monday rolling out new economic sanctions on Iran that are now effective.
“You cannot expect to talk to a person after you stab him and leave the knife in his body,” said Rouhani to IRIB state television. “If there is trust, Iran always welcomes negotiations. But negotiations don’t make sense while we are under sanctions.”
“The reimposed sanctions will target a range of sectors, blocking Iran from purchasing US banknotes and trading in gold and metals. They will also limit Iran’s access to the software and automotive sectors while blocking its ability to buy commercial aircraft or trade in food and other goods as well. The US said the sanctions are aimed at exerting “maximum economic pressure” against Iran,” writes Aljazeera.
The White House also said that the second round of sanctions on Iran’s oil industry will be imposed on November 5.
The Trump Administration is hoping to apply pressure to Iran so the country agrees to a better Nuclear deal.
Trump called the previous Iran deal “a horrible, one-sided deal” and that it “failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence and chaos.”
Rouhani was quick to condemn the U.S. for reinstating sanctions and said that Trump “has not honored any international commitments, let alone the nuclear deal. Therefore they want to have a psychological war against our people, maybe for their own congressional elections.”
Author’s note: It’s a good thing that Rouhani is upset about this, it means the sanctions will have an impact. But he isn’t necessarily the most important man in Iran. Trump is finally giving some real consequences to Iran.