Iran Rejects Possibility of Talks As U.S. Set to Impose Unilateral Sanctions
U.S. President Donald Trump and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani are embroiled in a war of words (Photo: wikimedia commons)

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani has said that he cannot enter talks with the "untrustworthy" administration of U.S. President Donald Trump. This statement came 24 hours before Washington is set to impose unilateral economic sanctions on Iran after it pulled out from the multilateral 2015 nuclear deal.

Rouhani made the comments in a televised interview on Monday evening, “"You cannot expect to talk to a person after you stab him and leave the knife in his body," Rouhani, speaking in Persian, told IRIB state television.

He accused the United States of being an unreliable negotiating partner when it decided to withdraw from the nuclear deal with Iran and re-impose sanctions against it.

"If there is trust, Iran always welcomes negotiations," he said. "But negotiations don't make sense while we are under sanctions."

In late July, Donald Trump who has repeatedly used harsh language against Iran's leaders, said he is willing to meet with them with no preconditions.

U.S. measures targeting Iran's automotive sector as well as its trade in gold and other key metals will take effect from 04:01 GMT on Tuesday. Trump warned that individuals or entities who breach the sanctions risk "severe consequences".

The other sectors in Iran being targeted by sanctions:

  • The purchase or acquisition of U.S. banknotes by Iran's government
  • Iran's trade in gold and other precious metals
  • Graphite, aluminium, steel, coal, and software used in industrial processes
  • Transactions related to the Iranian rial
  • Activities relating to Iran's issuance of sovereign debt
  • Iran's automotive sector

The UK, France and Germany - which were also parties to the 2015 accord along with Russia and China - have expressed "deep regret" at the U.S. move.

They have pledged to abide by their commitments under the deal. Iran has said it will also do so if it continues to receive the economic benefits.