Hassan Rouhani, the president of the crisis-ridden government of Iran, once again begged the US government, that if you lift the sanctions, we will immediately return to the 2015 international nuclear deal known by the acronym JCPOA. Speaking at the cabinet meeting, Rouhani stressed that they will not expel International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors from Iran. At the same time, he tried to examine the Trump era.

Rouhani’s boasting

Rouhani claimed: “When Trump left the JCPOA under pressure from Saudi Arabia and extremists inside the United States and Israel, we were at the United Nations at the end of September of that year. Trump texted us eight times after his speech that afternoon. That night, the President of France called me and said that I was with Trump now and that you would agree to a meeting of any kind. Several presidents came to our hotel and said that Trump said to put two words in the JCPOA that we should discuss the missile and the region, and I said that not a single word would be added or subtracted.”

Without acknowledging that Khamenei prevented him from meeting, Rouhani tried to show that he was not interested in negotiating.

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Rouhani, whose focus was on whether the United States would ease sanctions, stressed that if they take a step, Tehran would take it too.

“If they lift the sanctions today, we will return to the JCPOA in the afternoon,” Rouhani said.

“We will verify the lifting of sanctions in a few hours,” said Rouhani, whose position contrasts with Khamenei’s earlier speeches that they will first verify US actions.

We do not expel inspectors

At the same time, to downplay the government’s February 23 deadline, he said, “We will not expel the IAEA inspectors from Iran.”

Rouhani said the government has implemented the law passed by parliament within the framework of the bylaws it has adopted. One of the clauses of this law says that they will withdraw from the Additional Protocol (NPT) that they have voluntarily accepted, and the supervision will be based on nuclear safeguards.

“This (law) will not cause any problems,” Rouhani said to reassure the Western side. Then added: “Not only do we not expel the IAEA inspectors, but the IAEA Director General has also said that he wants to come to Tehran!”

“The Additional Protocol is a step beyond safeguards. Safeguards rules will be enforced. They are also IAEA inspectors and will monitor”, he said.

Referring to his phone call to a European official, Rouhani once again called the whole problem “sanctions”: “In a phone call we had with a European official last night, I said that the problem is only the oppressive US sanctions.”