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Diplomat Says Iran Will Not Negotiate With US At 'Any Level'

Abbas Araqchi, political deputy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran, speaks to the media after the meeting of the Joint Commission of the JCPOA, in Vienna, July 28, 2019

Iranian deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi (Araghchi) says that there is no possibility for talks at any level between Tehran and Washington.

Speaking to a Chinese TV network, Araqchi reiterated that in the present situation, there was no room for talks between the two sides.

Referring to recent speculations that President Hassan Rouhani's visit to Tokyo might pave the way for Tehran-Washington talks, Araqchi insisted that Iran would never negotiate under pressure.

"Talks under pressure means negotiation for surrender. Therefore, Iran is not prepared to talk to Washington, at any level," the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) cited Araqchi as telling the Chinese TV network.

Washington's decision to drop the Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers, Araqchi maintained, has led to the conclusion that negotiation with the U.S. would be a "bad and failed experience."

President Donald Trump withdrew from the JCPOA in May 2018, and re-imposed two batches of strict sanctions, hoping to force Tehran to change its behavior, return to the world community, and negotiate a new nuclear agreement.

Iran, for its part, has vehemently rejected the offer. The Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently described talking to Washington as "poisonous," and even more lethal under President Trump's Presidency.

Furthermore, Iranian authorities, including President Rouhani, have asserted that Tehran would be ready for talks, if Washington cancels its sanctions on Tehran.

Meanwhile, Araqchi lambasted Iran's three European counterparts in the JCPOA, France, Germany, and the U.K., for not being loyal to their commitments under the deal.

The European trio has been unsuccessfully trying for months to find a mechanism to alleviate the impact of U.S. sanctions on the clergy-dominated Iran. The two remaining counterparts of Iran in the JCPOA, China, and Russia have so far stayed away from the dispute, largely abiding by U.S. sanctions.

Nevertheless, speaking to China Global Television Network, Araqchi praised Beijing and Moscow for remaining "partially" loyal to their commitments under the JCPOA.