Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday dismissed the idea of bilateral talks with the United States, AFP reported. He said any talks – that too multilateral – would be possible only if the United States lifted all sanctions on Tehran.

“Maybe there has been a misunderstanding,” Rouhani said in Parliament, referring to French President Emmanuel Macron expressing hope last month that the Iranian president would meet US President Donald Trump.

“We have said it several times and we repeat it – there has been no decision to hold bilateral talks with the US,” Rouhani said. “In principle, we don’t want bilateral talks with the United States. If the United States lifts all sanctions, it would be possible to talk during 5+1 [six major powers that signed the nuclear deal with Iran in 2015] meetings as in the past.”

Rouhani said Iran was ready to further reduce its commitments to the 2015 deal “in the coming days” if ongoing negotiations yield no results by Thursday. If the other parties to the deal do not honour their commitments, Iran plans to take a “third step” to cut down on its own promises, he said.

In early July, Iran had announced that it had crossed the 300-kg limit of uranium stockpile set by the 2015 deal, and a few days later, it also started enriching uranium to a purity level beyond the limit it had agreed to in the deal.

Friction between Iran and the United States has increased ever since the US walked out of the Iran nuclear deal last year. Since then, Washington has imposed sanctions on Tehran, which in return suspended the implementation of some of its commitments under the 2015 nuclear deal.

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