United Nations - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that if the United States wanted an agreement beyond the 2015 nuclear deal it has abandoned “you have to pay more” and appeared to reject talks with US President Donald Trump for now.
“Our response to talks under pressure is no,” Rouhani said in a prepared text of UN General Assembly speech obtained by Reuters as the United States raised the pressure by sanctioning Chinese firms for dealing in Iranian oil despite US sanctions.
The confrontation between Tehran and Washington has ratcheted up since last year, when Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers and reimposed sanctions that have crippled its economy.
In his U.N. speech on Tuesday, Trump accused Iranian leaders of “bloodlust” and called on other nations to join in applying pressure on Iran after September 14 attacks on Saudi oil facilities that Washington blames on Tehran despite its denials.
However, Trump also said there was a path to peace and Rouhani, the nuclear pact’s architect, has left the door open to diplomacy, saying that if sanctions were lifted, Washington could join nuclear talks between Tehran and other powers.