News ID: 239857
Published: 1057 GMT March 06, 2019

Rouhani: Iran seeks constructive interaction with world

Rouhani: Iran seeks constructive interaction with world

Political Desk

President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday that Iran seeks constructive interaction with all countries.

“Constructive engagement with all countries is Iran's approach,” Rouhani told a crowd of people in the northern city of Lahijan.

“Some countries themselves have created problems, distancing themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran, and it is their fault,” he said.

The president also ruled out the possibility of talks with the United States, saying Washington is seeking to topple the government in Tehran.

Rouhani said "the United States says Iran should change" back to the way the country was before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when it was ruled by a US-supported monarchy.

“Today, we are again in a battle with the Iranian nation’s staunch enemy…It is all about one thing, America says we should go back to 40 years ago and we say we will not go backwards,” he said.

Rouhani said the differences between Iran and the US are so wide, they are "neither negotiable nor can there be a compromise."

Iranian authorities have said the US has secretly voiced a willingness to enter into talks with Iran.

The administration of US President Donald Trump has taken a hard line since it came to power in 2017.

Tensions between the two countries have been heightened after Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last year and snapped back sanctions on Iran, which have particularly hurt Iran's vital oil industry.

Rouhani said Iran is in an economic war because of these US sanctions, and that giving in to US demands means "losing all historical achievements" including freedom, independence and democracy.

“Our nation and the leadership are united against our enemies ... We will continue our path of independence and freedom,” Rouhani said.

"We should push back the enemy," he said.

Rouhani said the status quo in Iran could not be considered as normal.

“We are in a state of economic and psychological war,” he said, stressing that Iran was, in fact, facing the enemy at a “battleground.”

The other signatories to the deal – Britain, Germany, France, Russia and China – oppose the reinstatement of US financial and oil sanctions and have sought to salvage the nuclear deal by finding non-dollar ways to conduct business with Tehran.

Iranian officials have warned that Tehran could drop out of the nuclear deal if the other signatories fail to secure the economic benefits to Tehran accruing from the pact.


US pullout

Rouhani referred to the US withdrawal from the nuclear deal and said Washington had failed to get the other signatories on board to similarly abandon the deal, signifying a defeat for America.

“America was forced to singularly pull out of an international deal. It wasn’t a deal between Iran and America, it was one among seven countries; so, what happened was the US went against the United Nations, the international community, and all of the world’s countries,” Rouhani said.

He said the US suffered yet another defeat when, at a United Nations Security Council meeting headed by Trump last September, it faced strong defense of the Iran deal by all the other 14 council member states.

“They backed the Iranian nation’s commitment and opposed the US non-commitment,” Rouhani said of the other members.

Rouhani also pointed to the US failure at a meeting it had convened in the Polish capital of Warsaw last month, when it could not rally its allies around a purely anti-Iran agenda.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had announced the meeting in January, saying it would purportedly focus on the “important element of making sure that Iran is not a destabilizing influence.” Later in the month, however, and as officials from various countries indicated their refusal to participate, US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations Jonathan Cohen told the Security Council that the meeting was “not a venue to demonize or attack Iran,” in an apparent about-face.

“Therefore, the enemy has not achieved any success,” said President Rouhani, adding, “Even though it has caused some problems for us.”

AP, Reuters and Press TV contributed to this story.  


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