Iran says open to talks if US lifts sanctions

TEHRAN, July 16 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country is open to talks if the United States removes sanctions against Iran, Tasnim news agency reported Tuesday.


Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (File photo: VCG)

"Once those sanctions are lifted, the room for negotiation is wide open," said Zarif on Monday during a visit to New York for a UN conference.

It is the United States, not Iran, that has undermined diplomacy by walking away from the 2015 nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), he said.

However, "they're always welcome to return," he added.

In the meantime, Zarif downplayed the possibility of war between Iran and the United States, saying neither his government nor U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking armed conflict.

"I do not believe President Trump wants war," he said.

Trump pulled Washington out of the landmark 2015 Iranian nuclear deal in May 2018 and reimposed economic and energy sanctions on Tehran which had been removed under the accord.