Iran president: Talks with US are 'useless'

Iran president: Talks with US are 'useless'
Iran's president said that talks with the US on the country's nuclear deal are useless.
2 min read
23 August, 2019
Rouhani put water on hopes of talks between Iran and the US [Getty]
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said that talks with the US on Tehran's nuclear programme are "useless", as a deal with world powers crumbles.

Rouhani made a speech in Tehran on Thursday during the unveiling of the Bavar-373, a long-range surface-to-air missile system, which has been described as an adaption of Russia's S-300.

Rouhani said that "now that our enemies do not accept logic, we cannot respond with logic".

"When the enemy launches a missile against us, we cannot give a speech and say: 'Mr. Rocket, please do not hit our country and our innocent people. Rocket-launching sir, if you can please hit a button and self-destroy the missile in the air.'"

Iran has developed a homegrown defence industry since 1992, and started to produce weaponised drones and rockets.

Saudi Arabia has accused Tehran of exporting these weapons to Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Despite Rouhani's sceptism, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is in Norway to shore up support in Europe for the nuclear deal, which the US has withdrawn from.

"There are proposals on the table, both from the French and the Iranian side, and we are going to work on those proposals tomorrow," he said.

France President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday proposed to either soften sanctions on Iran or provide a compensation mechanism "to enable the Iranian people to live better" in return for Tehran's full commitment to its side of the nuclear deal.

It comes after the US called for harsher sanctions on Iran

The US urged the United Nations on Tuesday to extend an arms embargo on Tehran that is due to expire next year as part of the embattled Iran nuclear deal.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the UN Security Council that the clock was ticking on a resolution restricting weapons sales to Iran that is due to end in October 2020.

Pompeo warned that the expiration of provisions in Security Council Resolution 2231 would also see a travel ban on a key Iranian commander lifted.

"Time is drawing short to continue this activity of restricting Iran's capacity to foment its terror regime," he said.

"The international community will have plenty of time to see how long it has until Iran is unshackled to create new turmoil, and figure out what it must do to prevent that from happening," Pompeo added.

The US has called for harsher sanctions on Iran.