Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says his administration is determined to surmount the sanctions against the country through different means but will not compromise its red lines.
“We should either bypass the sanctions or compel the enemy to repent, and the administration is determined to frustrate this plot (sanctions) both through boosting domestic production and other different means like negotiations,” Rouhani said at a weekly cabinet session in Tehran on Wednesday.
“But in doing so, the administration will act in line with the establishment’s red lines and will not cross them,” he added.
Tensions have soared between Iran and the US since last year, when President Donald Trump pulled Washington out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries consisting of the United States, the UK, France, Russia, and China plus Germany, and reimposed the sanctions that had been lifted under the deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
In response, Iran has so far rowed back on its nuclear commitments four times in compliance with Articles 26 and 36 of the JCPOA, but stressed that its retaliatory measures will be reversible as soon as the European signatories — France, Britain and Germany — find practical ways to shield mutual trade from the US sanctions.
Since then, Trump has on various occasions indicated his interest in starting renewed talks with Iran to achieve a new deal over the country’s nuclear program, but Tehran has rejected his calls saying any such talks could be only possible if Washington returned to the JCPOA, lifted all sanctions on the country and engaged in talks only within the frame of the P5+1 group.
President Rouhani said last week that Iran has been left with no choice other than resistance against those who have brought it under sanctions, but the country has, at the same time, left an opening for negotiation.
“We have no choice other than resistance and steadfastness in the face of those who impose sanctions, but have not shut the door to negotiation either,” Rouhani said during an address in Tehran on December 4.
“We believe that wrongful and oppressive sanctions should be lifted first, and then the issue of negotiation can be addressed,” he added.
Resistance key to foiling US plots against Mideast
Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani said the US plots against regional countries will fail through their resistance.
“Undoubtedly, the Iraqi, Syrian, Lebanese and Iranian nations can resist their (Americans’) plots, and the Iranian nation has been and will be the forerunner in this regard,” he said.