Rouhani: Iran will never hold talks with US 'under pressure'
Iran has said will never hold talks with the United States under pressure, President Hassan Rouhani said on Sunday (February 16), adding that Tehran's help was essential in establishing security in the Middle East.
Relations between the United States and Iran have been at boiling point for almost two years since U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned a 2015 pact between Iran and world powers, under which Tehran had accepted to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of sanctions.
Speaking in the capital on Sunday (February 16) Ionian President Hassan Rouhani.
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi) PRESIDENT OF IRAN, HASSAN ROUHANI, SAYING: "What they thought - is that they could use maximum pressure to make us sit at the negotiating table from a position of weakness - is not possible and we have talked to the world with power and dignity, but we will never negotiate from a position of weakness.
We said if the United States goes back to the JCPOA nuclear deal, if they avoid sanctioning of Iran, then they can be present in the form of UN Security Council Members and negotiate.
Until this is done, negotiations with United States will not be possible." Tensions spiked further following the killing of Iran's most prominent military commander Qassem Soleimani in Janaury.
In retaliation, Iran attacked U.S. targets in Iraq.
Trump has adopted a policy of "maximum pressure" to force Tehran to negotiate a broader deal that further curbs Iran's nuclear work, ending its missile program and its involvement in regional proxy wars.
The United States on Monday will sanction more than two dozen people and entities involved in Iran's nuclear, missile and conventional arms programs, a senior U.S. official said, putting teeth behind U.N. sanctions on Tehran that Washington argues have resumed despite the opposition of allies and adversaries. Gloria Tso reports.
After nearly five years of incarceration, British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe could face an additional year in an Iranian prison. According to CNN, Zaghari-Ratcliffe's lawyer says new charges, called 'propaganda against the ruling establishment,' have been filed against her. Zaghari-Ratcliffe was detained at Tehran airport in April 2016 and jailed on espionage charges. She is currently under house arrest in Iran.
The husband of jailed British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hasappealed to UK officials to insist on being allowed to attend her second trialwhen it begins in Tehran on Sunday. Richard Ratcliffe said his family havebeen “caught” between two governments “fighting”. Speaking to the PA newsagency after it was revealed his wife was facing another trial in Iran, MrRatcliffe said: “We’ve always been treated in a strange, odd way and markedout as exceptional. “This second court case is doing that again, and it’ssignalling again she’s being held for political leverage to push the BritishGovernment to do something."
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Cindy McCain, the widow of Senator John McCain, on Tuesday became the latest prominent Republican voice to back Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in his bid to wrest the White House from President Donald Trump in November's election. Gloria Tso reports
Donald Trump has presided over the signing of historic diplomatic pactsbetween Israel and two Gulf Arab nations. The US president hopes the move willlead to a new order in the Middle East and cast him as a peacemaker at theheight of his reelection campaign. Hundreds of people amassed on the sun-washed South Lawn to witness the signing of agreements between Israel and theUnited Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
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The President of United State, Donald Trump, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister of the UAE Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and Foreign Minister of Bahrain Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani signed the Abraham Accord. "Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain will establish embassies, exchange ambassadors, and begin to work together as partners. They are friends," The White House tweeted."After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East. Congratulations to the people of Israel, the people of the United Arab Emirates, and the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain. God Bless You All!", Trump tweeted.
[NFA] The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain on Tuesday became the latest Arab states to break a longstanding taboo by signing agreements toward normalizing relations with Israel in a strategic realignment of Middle Eastern countries against Iran.
The military is downsizing its presence in Iraq from 5000 to 3200 troops, as the local military takes over security operations against remnants of the Islamic State militant group. Caroline Malone reports.
Donald Trump took potshots at his rival, Joe Biden, as Presidential elections in the United States of America loom closer. Trump, the serving President, said that US' traditional rivals like China and Iran are 'dreaming' of Joe Biden becoming the Commander-in-Chief. Trump's tenure has been marked with confrontations with both China and Iran. He has accused China of failing to stop the Covid outbreak from spreading across the world. He also led the US into a trade war with Beijing and the two nations have only reached a 'phase 1' deal after protracted negotiations. Trump has also toughened America's stance on Chinese expansionist aspirations, especially in the South China Sea. With Iran, Trump's offensive began with an exit from the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action - a deal aimed at limiting Tehran's nuclear programme signed by Barack Obama. In January 2020, US forces killed top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani over allegations of a terror plot. Tehran responded with an arrest warrant against Trump. Watch the full video for more.
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The leader of the main opposition party in Belarus was in Brussels on Monday to apply pressure on the European Union to go ahead with sanctions against officials accused of election rigging. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya sees no reason why sanctions now can't be pushed through. Adam Reed reports.
An old rivalry between Christian factions who fought each other in Lebanon's civil war has flared again on the street and in political debate. It's renewing fears of fresh unrest as the nation grapples with its worst crisis since the conflict. Adam Reed reports.
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden warned the United Kingdom that it must honour the Northern Irish peace deal as it extracts itself from the European Union or there would be no U.S. trade deal. Adam Reed reports.
Senegal's Lamine Diack, the former head of world athletics' governing body, was convicted in France on Wednesday of corruption in a Russian doping scandal and sentenced to spend at least two years in prison. Adam Reed reports.