The first round of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran took effect as President Hassan Rouhani — under increasing economic and political pressure — spurned President Donald Trump’s suggestion for talks with “no preconditions.”
Following an executive order signed by Trump, the U.S. imposed new restrictions intended to stop the purchase of dollar banknotes by Iran, prevent the government from trading gold and other precious metals and block the nation from selling or acquiring various industrial metals. The measures, which took effect at midnight in Washington, also targeted the auto industry and banned imports of Persian carpets and pistachios to the U.S.
In a televised address on Monday night, Rouhani said Iran is open to negotiations if the U.S. is “sincere,” but he added that such talks would be meaningless while his nation is being hit with sanctions. Trump and his top aides have raised the possibility of face-to-face discussions with Rouhani with “no preconditions.”
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