President Rouhani says Iran forced US to back down

President Rouhani says Iran forced US to back down

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has hailed the steadfastness of the Iranian nation in its tough battle against the United States over the past year, saying standing against Washington’s pressure caused it to back down from its previous position of seeking to topple the Iranian government.

"For months and days, the Iranian nation went through some tough times against the enemies relying on its steadfastness which forced the enemies to retreat step by step,” said Rouhani in a Saturday speech to a group of Iranian athletes in Tehran.

The comments came days after US President Donald Trump said in Japan that his administration was not looking for a “regime change” in Iran.

That came despite previous assertions by Trump that his main intention from imposing a series of illegal sanctions on Iran was to force the country to bow to US pressures.

Trump’s administration pulled out of an international agreement on Iran nuclear activity last year, re-imposing sanctions on the country that had been lifted as part of the deal.

Rouhani said Iran will certainly win the current battle against the United States relying on the “unity and solidarity” of the people.

“If we resist with hope in the war with the US, we will win,” he said, adding that Washington, once seeking to “destroy” the Islamic Republic, is now saying it does not want to do anything to harm it.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Rouhani reiterated Iran’s position on resuming talks on the nuclear case, saying Tehran will never accept to be bullied into such talks.

“We support logic and negotiation if (the other side) sits at the negotiating table and fully respects and follows international regulations, not if it issues a decree to negotiate,” he said, adding, “In that case we will not buy it”.  

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic can sit at the negotiating table to solve any issues if the enemy returns to "normal conditions" and realizes it had taken a wrong approach.

"The party who left the negotiating table and upended an agreement must come back to normal conditions," Rouhani said on Sunday, addressing a group of academics and physicians in Tehran.

Otherwise, he added, Iran is left with no choice but to show resistance.

"I declare as the representative of the Iranian nation that in this period, and for as long as the enemy does not regret its measures in the past, we have no way but to show resistance," he said.

However, Rouhani said, "if the enemy truly realizes it has taken a wrong and incorrect approach, then we can sit at the negotiating table and solve any issues," he added.

“The enemies sometimes say they have conditions for negotiations with Iran... but in recent weeks they said they have no conditions. They threatened us as if they were a military superpower, but now they say they do not seek a war,” he said, describing the offer of talks with no preconditions as a sign of Iran's strength.

His comments came shortly after US Secretary of State Mike Pomope backed off from the 12-point list of “basic requirements” he had put forth as a prerequisite for a new deal with Iran, and said on Sunday that Washington was prepared for unconditional talks.

"We are prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. We are ready to sit down with them," Pompeo said, addressing a news conference in Switzerland.

He; however, added that the United States would continue working to rein in Iran's "malign activity."

"The American effort to fundamentally reverse the malign activity of this Islamic Republic, this revolutionary force, is going to continue," he said.

In response, Iran described the offer as a game of words, and stressed that it expects a change in Washington's general approach toward the Iranian nation.

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