Defending his achievements during the United Nations General Assembly, the Islamic Republic President Hassan Rouhani claimed on Monday that the remaining signatories of the 2015 nuclear deal, "had discussions within the framework of the P4+1, and preparations for a P5+1 meeting were made, which had been agreed upon by all parties."
Mentioning “all parties” would mean the United States was also involved in the agreement Rouhani spoke about.
Speaking before leaving Tehran for Armenia on Monday Rouhani described the P4+1 discussions in New York on September 25 as "a significant step and decisive action but stopped short of elaborating on it.
Originally, P5+1 included the United States and after President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) in May 2018, only four of the permanent members of the UN Security Council remained part of the agreement.
Rouhani, who is criticized by the conservatives at home, maintained, "The framework of the meeting was agreed upon by the 'seven' countries, and I believe it was an important step that I will explain further at cabinet's meeting next Wednesday, October 2."
Again, by mentioning seven countries, Rouhani alluded to an agreement which must have included the United States.
The New Yorker wrote on September 30, quoting diplomatic sources that apparently a deal was made in New York, which hinged on Rouhani, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron having a phone call on September 24 to seal a four-point deal. As Macron and Trump waited, Rouhani never emerged from his room. This in effect means no deal was finalized, following which Trump imposed new sanctions on Iran.
Iran in essence would agree to new nuclear talks and in return the U.S. would suspend part or all of its sanctions.
Meanwhile, still in an enigmatic tone, Rouhani on Monday expressed hope that the "great step" taken in New York could have follow-ups. "This step can continue in other ways, and it is very important for us to be able to take back the nuclear issue to its legal and international process and encourage others to 'atone' and return to their commitments," Rouhani said.
Iran’s president had earlier insisted that the only way for reviving the P5+1 is the cancellation of the sanctions Washington has imposed on the Islamic Republic.
Nonetheless, the U.S. President Donald Trump, for his part, has also explicitly affirmed that he would never agree to cancel the sanction as a precondition for a new round of nuclear talks between Tehran and Washington.