Iran tells US to take 'first step', end sanctions

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. (Iranian Presidency, Handout, AFP)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. (Iranian Presidency, Handout, AFP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday told the United States to "take the first step" by lifting all sanctions against Iran, a day after US President Donald Trump said he was open to meeting.

"The step is to retreat from sanctions. You must retreat from all illegal, unjust and wrong sanctions against the nation of Iran," Rouhani said in a speech aired live on state television.

He said "the key for positive change is in the hands of Washington", because Iran had already ruled out ever doing what worries the US the most - building an atomic bomb.

"If honestly this is your only concern, this concern has already been removed" through a fatwa issued by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he said.

Khamenei is said to have issued a fatwa against nuclear weapons in 2003 and has reiterated it several times since.

"So take the first step. Without this step, this lock will not be unlocked," Rouhani said at a Tehran event marking the start of construction at a housing project.

The US unilaterally pulled out of a 2015 multilateral nuclear deal in May last year and subsequently reimposed biting sanctions.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
When planning for the Black Friday sales do you:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Save, research and plan ahead, preparing to make the most of it?
8% - 864 votes
Wait and see what looks like a good deal on the day?
14% - 1635 votes
Have no interest in spending more money this year?
78% - 8890 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
15.35
(-0.01)
ZAR/GBP
20.48
(+0.06)
ZAR/EUR
18.20
(+0.08)
ZAR/AUD
11.24
(-0.24)
ZAR/JPY
0.15
(+0.07)
Gold
1831.56
(-0.23)
Silver
23.49
(-0.07)
Platinum
935.00
(+0.92)
Brent Crude
45.51
(+2.15)
Palladium
2329.48
(+0.01)
All Share
57147.31
(+0.94)
Top 40
52478.55
(+1.08)
Financial 15
11337.90
(+0.62)
Industrial 25
79917.53
(+1.49)
Resource 10
51771.17
(+0.65)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo