Middle East

Iran will sign final nuclear deal only if sanctions lifted: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (R) talks with his Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) as they arrive for a welcome ceremony for Turkish President at the Saadabad Palace in Tehran on April 7, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE

TEHRAN: Iran will agree to a final nuclear accord with six major powers only if all sanctions imposed on the country over its disputed nuclear work are lifted, President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech Thursday.

"We will not sign any deal unless all sanctions are lifted on the same day ... We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks," Rouhani said.

The tentative deal between Iran and the six powers on curbing Iran's nuclear work, reached a last week in the Swiss city of Lausanne, revived hopes of an end to sanctions in return for limits on the Iranian atomic program.

Iran wants sanctions to be lifted altogether and at once, but the United States made it clear Monday that sanctions would have to be phased out gradually under the final nuclear pact.

A deadline for reaching the final agreement is June 30 and Iran, the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Russia and China are expected to meet in the coming days to discuss the deal.

Rouhani also called on Saudi Arabia to halt a two-week-old campaign of airstrikes against Houthi fighters in Yemen and said countries in the region should work to bring Yemen's rival factions to the negotiating table.

"A great nation like Yemen will not submit to bombing. Come, let us all think about ending war. Let us think about a cease-fire," Rouhani said in a televised speech. "Let us prepare to bring Yemenis to the negotiating table to make decisions about their future."

Saudi Arabia and a coalition that includes four other Gulf Arab states have waged air strikes against the Iran-allied Houthis to try to drive them back from the southern city of Aden. Iran denies Saudi and U.S. accusations that it has armed the Houthis.

 

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