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Iran Says Ready to Accept Friendly US Ties if it 'Repents'

Iran Says Ready to Accept Friendly US Ties if it 'Repents'

Thursday, 7 February, 2019 - 06:30
Photo released by the website of the Iranian president showing him welcoming diplomats in Tehran on Wednesday
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday Tehran would be ready to establish "friendly relations" with the United States if it apologized for past wrongs, in his first response to US President Donald Trump who singled out Iran as the “world's leading state sponsor of terror” in his State of the Union address.

“To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed on a country,” Trump said on Tuesday.

But Rouhani told foreign diplomats in Tehran during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran's Revolution that Tehran’s “slogan is friendly relations with the whole world.”

That would even include "America, if it repents... and apologizes for its previous interferences in Iran, and is prepared to accept the greatness and dignity of the nation of Iran and the great Islamic Revolution," he said.

"We are still ready to accept America's... repentance despite the fact that for years it has done injustice to us," he told foreign diplomats in Tehran during a ceremony to mark the 40th anniversary of Iran's Revolution.

The Obama administration was one of six world powers that signed a 2015 deal with Iran, easing sanctions in exchange for restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program.

But the detente was scuppered by Trump, who in May last year unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear accord and re-imposed sanctions.

Rouhani last week accused the US of being an "oath-breaker.”

Meanwhile, Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said on Wednesday that some changes within the framework of reforms ordered by Supreme leader Ali Khamenei are expected to be implemented soon.

"Reform and restructuring of energy and fuel, with an aim of improving people’s lives, will soon take shape,” he said.

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