In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a conference in Tehran, Iran, Monday, Aug. 26, 2019. Rouhani defended his foreign minister's surprise visit to the G-7 summit, saying he ready to go anywhere to negotiate a way out of the crisis following the U.S. pullout from the nuclear deal. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Iranian president: First lift sanctions, then let's talk

August 26, 2019 - 11:45 pm

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's president has back-pedaled on possible talks with Donald Trump and now says the U.S. president first must lift sanctions imposed on Tehran.

Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday that otherwise, a meeting between the two would be just a photo op and "that is not possible."

Rouhani's change of heart came a day after Trump said Monday there's a good chance the two could meet after a surprise intervention by French President Emmanuel Macron during the G-7 summit to try to bring Washington and Tehran together.

Rouhani says that "without the U.S.'s withdrawal from sanctions, we will not witness any positive development." He added that Washington "holds the key."

Earlier on Monday, Rouhani expressed readiness to negotiate a way out of the crisis following America's pullout from the nuclear deal.