Iran's response to any negotiation under sanctions is "negative," said the nation's President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday, urging the U.S. to return to negotiations.
"On behalf of my nation and state, I would like to announce that our response to any negotiation under sanctions is negative," Rouhani told the UN General Assembly in New York.
He said Iranian government and people have remained steadfast against the sanctions and will never negotiate with "an enemy that seeks to make Iran surrender with the weapon of poverty, pressure and sanctions."
"If you require a positive answer and as declared by the leader of the Islamic revolution the only way for talks to begin is to return to commitments and compliance if you are sensitive to the name of JCPOA," said Rouhani, referring to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the Iran nuclear deal.
"Stop the sanctions so as to open the way for the start of negotiations," Rouhani said.
Stating that Iran is not a neighbor of the U.S., Rouhani said: "United States is located here, not in the Middle East. The United States is not the advocate of any nation. Neither is the guardian of any state."
The Iranian president said states do not delegate power to other states and do not give custodianship to others.
Rouhani also accused the U.S. of conducting "the most merciless economic terrorism" and resorting to "international piracy" by using the international banking system.
The US government made efforts to deprive Iran from the advantages of participating in the global economy, said Rouhani, adding that Iran cannot believe the invitation to the negotiation of people who he said claim to have applied the harshest sanctions of history.
Tensions have been escalating between the U.S. and Iran after President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. in May 2018 from a nuclear pact world powers struck with Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from economic sanctions.
Trump has since embarked on a campaign to scuttle the agreement, including the reimposition of sanctions on Iranian crude oil that were lifted as part of the agreement.
By Servet Gunerigok in Washington, D.C.