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Rouhani Tells Macron If US Sanctions Are Halted Talks Can Begin

File photo - France's president Emmanuel Macron (L) greets Iranian president Hassan Rouhani at the Millennium Hotel near the United Nations on September 18, 2017, in New York.

At the same time that Iranian officials say they are ready to increase the level of uranium enrichment, President Hassan Rouhani has said U.S. sanctions should be halted to make “a new movement” possible.

In a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday July 6, Rouhani has said that if all U.S. sanctions are suspended it could open the way for negotiations to take place.

“Halting all sanctions can be the start of new movement between Iran and 5+1”, Rouhani said, referring to the signatories of the 2015 nuclear agreement, the official IRNA news website reported.

The report adds that Rouhani also asked the European Union to “discharge its duties” and “try more than ever to save the JCPOA”, as the nuclear agreement is known.

While Rouhani speaks of a “new movement” and “negotiations”, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and other officials have recently ruled out any talks with the United States.

The IRNA report made no mention of Macron’s response to Rouhani’s proposal, but a statement from French presidency later said Macron had expressed his deep concern to Rouhani over any further weakening of the 2015 nuclear deal and warned that consequences would follow.

Washington has repeatedly offered “unconditional” talks with Iran.

Other reports say that U.S. President Donald Trump has held a telephone conversation on Saturday with UK Prime Minister Theresa May about Iran.