Iran president: If US wants talks, it must lift sanctions

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s president has reiterated that if Washington wants to open negotiations with Tehran, it must lift all sanctions against his country “before everything else.”

Iranian state TV says President Hassan Rouhani made the comments during a meeting with Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday.

Rouhani also reiterated that America’s sanctions on his country are an act of “economic terrorism.”

Tensions have escalated since President Donald Trump withdrew last year from the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and imposed new and harsher sanctions on Iran’s oil and banking sectors.

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The U.S administration last week also announced financial sanctions on Zarif, after Trump last month imposed similar measures on Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei. The sanctions are seen as part of a U.S. maximum pressure campaign on Iran.

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