Trump Must Lift Sanctions and Apologize Before Iran Returns to Nuclear Negotiations, Rohani Says

Washington's announcement that it will halt waivers on imports of Iranian oil caused rising oil prices and further tightened global supply

President Donald Trump, joined by the Easter Bunny, speaks from the Truman Balcony of the White House in Washington, Monday, April 22, 2019, during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Iran is willing to negotiate with America only when the United States lifts pressure and apologizes, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said on Wednesday, according to state media.

Oil prices hit their highest level since November on Tuesday after Washington announced all waivers on imports of sanctions-hit Iranian oil would end next week, pressuring importers to stop buying from Tehran and further tightening global supply.

>> U.S. sanctions, internal pressure may curb trenchant threats by Iranian Guards' new chief | Analysis ■ Iran floods leave its regime drowning in domestic criticism | Analysis

"We have always been a man of negotiation and diplomacy, the same way that we've been a man of war and defense. Negotiation is only possible if all the pressures are lifted, they apologise for their illegal actions and there is mutual respect," Rohani was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on his official website that Iran can export as much oil as it needs. 

"America's efforts in sanctioning the sale of Iranian oil won't get anywhere," Khamenei said. "We can export as much of our oil as we need and want." 

Iran has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipment channel in the Gulf, if the United States tries to strangle Tehran's economy by halting its oil exports.