Iran conditions negotiations on US apology

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced willingness to negotiate with the Trump Administration, if the United States reaffirms the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) international nuclear deal, while also apologizing and compensating the Islamic Republic for damages.

“This is simple: apologize to the Iranian nation, compensate for the damages, return to the regulations and return to the P5 + 1 (UN Security Council permanent members plus Germany) framework can still be the solution,” Rouhani stated in a cabinet address.

“We are awaiting anything,” the Iranian President told his ministers, adding that “Every time the United States announces that it will comply with the UN regulations – it will fulfill its commitment in JCPOA – and the Congress and the White House will return from their wrong path, and whenever they return to P5+1 we are ready to negotiate at that moment.”

In response to the recently-passed International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution calling for full cooperation from Iran, Rouhani accused the U.S. and Israel of “deceiving the IAEA and deviating from its right path. Of course, whenever we want we are easily able to respond to their actions.”

The IAEA approved the resolution in the wake of Tehran’s repeated denial of access for the inspection of two sites suspected of undeclared nuclear activities. Rouhani blithely maintained that “The basis of Iran’s work is cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). We will maintain our cooperation with IAEA.”

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reacted to the latest developments by reiterating that Washington’s policy remains consistent, and reminding Tehran not to expect the same response by the current administration as its predecessor.

“The United States has been clear about our expectations. We’ve been clear about our goals. We ask the Islamic Republic of Iran to behave like a normal nation,” stated the American top diplomat, stating “We’re happy to engage in conversations with them when the time is right – but the conditions that suggest somehow we give a bunch of money to the Iranians so they can foment terror around the world is simply ludicrous. It’s just not how this administration behaves.”

In addressing the ongoing nuclear dispute with the Islamic Republic, Secretary Pompeo said that “Iran’s denial of access to IAEA inspectors and refusal to cooperate with the IAEA’s investigation of potentially undeclared nuclear material and activity raises serious questions about Tehran’s efforts and what it is precisely that they are trying to hide. Iran’s refusal to cooperate is wholly separate from the JCPOA. This is simply about whether Iran is honoring its own legally binding safeguards obligations. If Iran fails – if it fails to cooperate with the IAEA obligations, the international community must be prepared to take further action.”