TEHRAN: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday ordered all limits on nuclear research and development to be lifted, the country’s third step in scaling down its commitments to a 2015 deal with world powers.
“I, as of now, announce the third step,” he said on state television. “The atomic energy organisation (of Iran) is ordered to immediately start whatever is needed in the field of research and development, and abandon all the commitments that were in place regarding research and development.”
Iran in July abandoned two other nuclear commitments: to keep its stockpile of enriched uranium below 300-kilogrammes, and a 3.67-percent cap on the purity of its uranium stocks.
Earlier, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday left the door open to a possible meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the upcoming U.N. General Assembly in New York.
Asked about the possibility of meeting the Iranian leader at the United Nations, Trump told White House reporters anything was possible.
“Sure, anything’s possible. They would like to be able to solve their problem,” he said, referring to inflation in Iran. “We could solve it in 24 hours.”
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Trump has publicly said multiple times he would be open to talks with Iranian leaders, but Tehran has rejected any negotiations with Washington unless sanctions are dropped.
The United States has been pressing Iran with sanctions since last year, when Washington abandoned the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, often referred to as the Iran nuclear deal.