Share This Page

Iran will negotiate, if sanctions dropped, says foreign minister

| Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, 7:06 p.m.

WASHINGTON — Iran's foreign minister said on Sunday that his country was willing to negotiate with the United States over its nuclear program but that Washington needed to reciprocate by stopping the sanctions that have crippled Iran's economy.

Taking a tone that was conciliatory at times but mainly tough, Mohammad Javad Zarif said on ABC's “This Week” that the United States and Iran had taken the “first step in removing the tensions, doubts and misgivings that the two sides have had about each other for the last 30-some years.”

Zarif met with the secretary of State last week in New York, and President Obama spoke by phone with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, the nations' first direct contact at that level since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Zarif insisted that Tehran never had military intentions with its uranium enrichment.

“Iran is prepared to start negotiating” on the issue, he said, adding that the United States also must do certain things, including halting what he contended were “illegal sanctions against Iran that are targeting ordinary Iranians.”

Iran has been hit with sanctions from the U.N. Security Council and measures aimed at its oil and banking sectors imposed by the United States and the European Union.

“We believe that if the United States is ready to recognize Iran's rights, to respect Iran's rights and move from that perspective, then we have a real chance, and we negotiate with the full authority of the leader,” Zarif said, referring to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.