Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has ruled the country out of ever taking part in bilateral talks with the U.S. (SOUNDBITE) (Farsi), IRANIAN PRESIDENT, HASSAN ROUHANI SAYING: "We do not and never had an intention of mutual talks with the U.S. This has been the truth during the past year and half, and many years before." But - during the same speech to Iran's parliament on Tuesday - he said if all sanctions were lifted - the US could join multilateral talks with the other countries involved in the 2015 nuclear deal.
(SOUNDBITE) (Farsi), IRANIAN PRESIDENT, HASSAN ROUHANI SAYING: "If the U.S. removes all sanctions, no matter if they return to the nuclear deal or not, it is not very important for us.
What matters to us are sanctions.
If the U.S. lifts all sanctions, it would be possible again to hold 5+1 talks with the U.S. presence again." The measures were reimposed by U.S. President Donald Trump last year after he pulled out of the nuclear deal signed under President Obama.
It has led to increased confrontation between Iran and the U.S. Trump had offered to take part in direct talks with no pre-conditions to ease tensions.
But Rouhani says unless sanctions are stopped, Iran will take a third step on Thursday towards going back on its nuclear commitments.