Rouhani says talks possible only if Washington shows "respect"
President Hassan Rouhani on June 1 suggested Iran may be willing to hold talks if the United States showed it respect, but said Tehran would not be pressured into negotiations, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
Iran and the United States have been drawn into starker confrontation in the past month, a year after Washington pulled out of a deal between Iran and global powers to curb Tehran's nuclear programme in return for lifting international sanctions.
Washington re-imposed sanctions last year and ratchetted them up in May, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil. In recent weeks it has also hinted at military confrontation, saying it was sending extra forces to the Middle East to respond to an Iranian threat.
Fars news agency quoted Rouhani as saying: "We are for logic and talks if (the other side) sits respectfully at the negotiating table and follows international regulations, not if it issues an order to negotiate."
Iran's top authority, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Wednesday Iran would not negotiate with Washington. Rouhani had previously signalled talks might be possible if sanctions were lifted.
"The same enemy which declared its aim last year to destroy the Islamic Republic of Iran today explicitly states that it does not want to do anything to (our) system," Rouhani said. "If we remain hopeful in the war with America, we will win."