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Trump: US will not lift sanctions to negotiate with Iran

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — US President Donald Trump said in a tweet late Saturday night that the United States would not lift sanctions against Iran in order to negotiate with it in what appeared to be a response to an interview published by Der Spiegel newspaper with the Iranian foreign minister.

“The Iranian foreign minister says Iran wants to negotiate with the United States but wants to lift the sanctions … No thanks!” Trump wrote in the tweet, which he published in English and later in Persian.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded on Sunday by publishing an extract from the Der Spiegel interview published on Friday in which he said that Iran was still open to negotiations with America if the sanctions were lifted.

“It would be better for Donald Trump to base his statements and foreign policy decisions on the facts, not on the headlines of Fox News or what his translators say in Persian,” Zarif commented on the excerpt.

The degree of tension between Iran and the United States reached its highest level in decades after Washington killed the prominent Iranian military commander, General Qassem Soleimani, in a plane attack in Baghdad on January 3, which prompted Iran to launch missiles at bases in Iraq that include American forces a few days later.

Tension has already been escalating between the two countries since Trump announced in 2018 that the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal concluded between Iran and world powers in 2015 and reimposed sanctions that severely cut oil exports and weakened the Iranian economy.

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