Rouhani Offers US-Iran Talks for Sanctions Relief

Pompeo rejects idea, saying similar offer led to nuclear deal

After weeks of Iranian officials insisting that they don’t trust the US enough to hold new talks with them, President Hassan Rouhani says that he would be ready to told US talks “right now and anywhere” if the US agrees to sanctions relief as a precondition.

This offer makes sense for Iran, as their efforts t save the nuclear deal all hinge on getting sanctions relief. The EU is struggling to deliver that relief over US objections, and getting the US to deliver it would be straightforward.

The idea was immediately denounced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, as he thought the idea of talks and sanctions relief was suspiciously similarly to the nuclear negotiations under the Obama Administration, and said that was a “disaster.”

Pompeo’s position is in keeping with his push to drive Trump toward a war with Iran, but also shoots a hole in the idea that the US really wants a diplomatic engagement, as his objection to Rouhani’s proposal is the very idea that talks might happen and lead to a deal, which he considers a bad result.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.