Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said today Tehran will not accept a comprehensive nuclear deal with major powers if all sanctions imposed on Tehran are not lifted, state television reported.
“If there is no end to sanctions, there will not be an agreement,” Rouhani said in a televised speech in the northern Iranian city of Rasht.
“The end of these negotiations and a signed deal must include a declaration of cancelling the oppressive sanctions on the great nation of Iran.”
Iran wants sanctions that include nuclear-related United Nations resolutions as well as US and EU nuclear-related economic sanctions, to be lifted at once. The US says that sanctions against Iran would be removed gradually.
In what was seen as a setback for Barack Obama, the US President agreed on Tuesday that Congress should have the power to review any deal with Iran, backing down to pressure from Republicans and some in his own party.
The move blocks Obama’s ability to waive many US sanctions on Tehran while Congress reviews the deal. It also allows Congress a final vote on whether to lift sanctions imposed by US lawmakers.
Rouhani said this was an internal issue for Washington.
“What the US Senate, Congress and others say is not our problem. We want mutual respect … We are in talks with the major powers and not with the Congress,” Rouhani said, adding that Iran wanted to end its isolation by having “constructive interaction with the world and not confrontation”.