Iran MPs summon Rouhani as USA pressure squeezes economy

Iranian Foreign Minister Nuclear Program

Iran claims Trump tried on eight occasions to meet Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly previous year.

In a speech delivered to Iranian Americans, the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed solidarity with the Iranian people and condemned the leadership of the Islamic Republic as a bunch of hypocritical thieves. Unlike the Iran nuclear deal, this proposal was not exclusively focused on nuclear matters: The Iranians offered to help stabilize Iraq, disarm Hezbollah and collaborate against all terrorist organizations (especially al Qaeda).

Hardline general prosecutor Mohammad Jafar Montazeri said on Wednesday Iran's enemies were trying to divide government and people by creating economic hardship. I would certainly meet with Iran if they wanted to meet. Hamid Aboutalebi, one of Rouhani's advisers, tweeted on Monday that the USA would have to rejoin the JCPOA, give "respect to the great nation of Iran", and "reduce hostilities", before any meeting could take place.

"We can not negotiate with someone who violates worldwide commitments, threatens to destroy countries, and constantly changes his position", said analyst Mohammad Marandi, of the University of Tehran, who was part of the nuclear negotiating team.

Rouhani recently warned the USA that "war with Iran is the mother of all wars", prompting an all-caps retort from Trump.

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Rouhani also held a separate meeting with Iranian ambassadors to 14 countries, including Poland, Japan, Vatican, Italy, Ireland, Slovenia, Finland, Lebanon, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Mali, Colombia, Bulgaria, and the Permanent Ambassador and Representative of Iran to the United Nations Office in Geneva.

Mr Trump drew a comparison with his diplomacy toward North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, whom he met at a June 12 summit, with the aim of convincing Pyongyang to give up its nuclear arsenal. "And Iranians have heard them -albeit more civilized ones-for 40 yrs".

In May the United States left the deal which curbed Iran's nuclear activities in return for the lifting of worldwide sanctions.

It took about 112,000 rials to buy one US dollar on Tuesday, almost double what it cost when Mr. Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal. The Iranian government swiftly dismissed them as unacceptable. "I believe in meeting", Trump told a joint news conference with visiting Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, when asked whether he was willing to meet with the Iranian leader. But if Trump wants to explore realistic changes in Iran's regional policies, missile defense or tougher restrictions on its nuclear program, he must first be willing to contemplate changes in USA policy.

"With the contemptuous statements (Trump) addressed to Iran, the idea of negotiating is inconceivable".

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Mr. Trump responded with an all-caps tweet on July 22 threatening Iran with "consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before".

Shortly before that July 22 tweet, Rouhani had addressed Trump in a speech, saying that hostile USA policies could lead to "the mother of all wars".

In response, Bahram Qasemi, Iranian foreign ministry spokesman, said on Tuesday that Trump's offer contradicts his actions, pointing to the US' moves to impose sanctions on Iran and put pressure on other countries to avoid conducting business with it. "The president's war cabinet seems more inclined to bring the Iranian regime to its knees".

"I have a feeling they'll be talking to us pretty soon", Trump told a rally in Tampa, Florida, before adding: "And maybe not, and that's OK too". White House National Security Adviser John Bolton linked the U.S military presence in Syria to the "Iranian menace".

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