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Iran says no chance of negotiations, compromise with US

March 6, 2019
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In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani gestures to the crowd of supporters during a public meeting in northern city of Lahijan, Iran, Wednesday, March 6, 2019. Rouhani says there's no chance of negotiations or compromise with the United States, because Washington allegedly is seeking to topple the government in Tehran. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s president said on Wednesday that there was no chance of negotiations or compromise with the United States, allegedly because Washington is seeking to topple the government in Tehran.

In a televised speech, Hassan Rouhani said “the United States says Iran should change” back to the way the country was before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when it was ruled by a U.S.-supported monarchy.

“We say we won’t go back,” Rouhani said at a gathering in the northern city of Lahijan.

He said the differences between Iran and the U.S. are so wide, they are “neither negotiable nor can there be a compromise.”

The Trump administration has taken a hard line on Iran but insists the U.S. is not trying to overthrow the government.

However, tensions between the two countries have been heightened after Washington withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last year and re-imposed sanctions on Iran, which have particularly hurt Iran’s vital oil industry.

Rouhani said his country is in an economic war because of these U.S. sanctions, and that giving in to U.S. demands means “losing all historical achievements” including freedom, independence and democracy.

“We should push the enemy back,” he said.

The U.S. says it wants Iran to radically change its policy and stop supporting regional militant groups, such as the Lebanese Hezbollah and the Palestinian Hamas, as well as halt its development of long-range ballistic missiles.

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