Iran will start a dialogue with the United States only if Washington creates acceptable conditions for it. The corresponding statement was made today by the Iranian leader Hassan Rouhani.

He explained that currently it is impossible to conduct negotiations because the US continue to exert sanction pressure on Iran. According to Tehran, at this stage, Washington is not interested in dialogue.

Rouhani is convinced that, first of all, the US must accept and admit that they have taken an erroneous position with regard to Iran. When it becomes clear that Washington is ready to be guided by logic and common sense in resolving certain issues, it will be possible to sit down at the negotiating table.

Separately, the President of Iran noted that the American party will not be able to block the export of Iranian oil completely. Under the current circumstances, emphasized Rouhani, the Iranian people only have one option left – resistance.

Anti-Iranian sanctions were resumed in November 2018. Then, the US President announced that the USA unilaterally withdraws from the JCPOA (a nuclear deal between Iran and the US, concluded with the participation of international mediators from the UN Security Council, providing for a partial lifting of sanctions against individuals and entities in Iran, in exchange for the suspension of Iran’s nuclear program). This agreement was one of the major foreign policy successes of the previous US administration. Russia, China, Great Britain, Germany, and France also participated in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. Economic sanctions against Iran, as they are currently understood, have been regularly imposed since the mid-1990s, in response to missile and nuclear arms development programs.

After the unilateral withdrawal from the agreement, the US administration gave six months to the countries importing Iranian oil to cease supplies from Iran. On April 22, Washington reported that it did not intend to extend exemptions. 

Rouhani’s totally predictable statement becomes interesting in the context of reports about the White House’s attempts to develop a reconciliation plan for Arabs and Israelis. Netanyahu, who recently secured his Likud party’s victory in the elections to Knesset, is moving in the same direction. It is Iran that supports anti-Israeli forces in the Gaza strip, so it is logical to assume that this statement was a response to Washington’s behind-the-scenes attempts to start a dialogue with Tehran.

Trump is obviously trying himself as a peacemaker: first in the DPRK, now in the Middle East. However, it is unlikely that the current attempt will be successful. Even though Iran has already shown its readiness to make concessions, it will only happen in case of easing sanction pressure, which the American “hawks” cannot yet agree to, especially after the demonstrative unilateral withdrawal from the JCPOA.