Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that the US administration is sending contradictory messages to his country, as Iran routinely receives invitations from the White House for talks while being pressured by US sanctions.
In a speech broadcast on state television Rouhani said that Iran "is on the frontlines. This is an economic, psychological and propaganda war," in reference to renewed sanctions resulting from the US pulling out of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and Western powers in May.
In an attempt to lift the spirits of his citizens, Iran's president told the nation that Iran "will not bow before the pressure of a new group in the White House…the war we are dealing with today is economic—and the government is standing strong."
President Rouhani says the United States constantly sends messages to Iran to begin negotiations, even as the country is pressured by the US in the form of sanctions.
"From one side they try to pressure the people of Iran, on another side they send us messages every day through various methods that we should come and negotiate together," Rouhani said.
"They say we should negotiate here, we should negotiate there. We want to resolve the issues... Which should we believe?" he added.
Rouhani then addressed the American administration directly and asked: "If you want the best for the Iranian people why are you pressuring them? Do you expect us to surrender if the pressures continue in the coming months?"
In addition, Rouhani called for unity inside Iran's government saying "we cannot fight America, the left and the right at the same time. We cannot fight on three front. Stop looking for a culprit…we are facing a battlefield."
The Iranian rial has lost about two-thirds of its value this year because of a weak economy, financial difficulties at local banks and heavy demand for dollars among Iranians. Many fear Washington’s pulling out of the nuclear deal and renewed US sanctions will cut into Iran’s exports of oil and other goods.
Last Wednesday, the Iranian rial reached an all-time low—the dollar was being offered at 150,000 rials, according to the website Bonbast.com, which tracks the unofficial market. Later in the day, the currency improved slightly, reaching at 140,000 rials per dollar.
Rouhani's remarks were made in the backdrop of the tripartite summit Friday, attended by Rouhani, Russian president Putin, and Turkish president Erdogan, in which the three discussed a long-term political settlement after the civil war in Syria.
"The fires of war and bloodshed in Syria are reaching their end," Rouhani said at the summit, while adding that terrorism must "be uprooted in Syria, particularly in Idlib."
"We are determined to fight terrorism in Syria and to reach a diplomatic solution…the Syrian people alone have the right to decide their fate," he stated.
The Iranian president insisted Syria's regime had asked his assistance, and called on the international community to act against the Israeli attacks on Syria. "There is no escaping the fight against terror in Idlib, against its roots, and against Western involvement," Rouhani asserted.
"The involvement of the United States is illegal and contrary to the UN Security Council's resolutions. We must be prepared for the return of the Syrian refugees and to work towards rehabilitating the country," he concluded.
Ynet's correspondent, Ron Ben Yishai, said that Russia is concerned that the international community, and the UN Security Council in particular, will fault Russia if it takes part in an attack that could claim the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.
Meanwhile, President of Turkey, Tayyip Erdogan is concerned that another wave of migrants will cross the border near Turkey. Nevertheless, as a Sunni Muslims, Erdogan will find it difficult to accept the massacre of Syrians belonging to the Sunni stream.