Iran hints at its willingness to exchange tankers and hold talks with Washington

 Iranian President Hassan Rowhani hinted on Wednesday that Tehran was ready to exchange tankers with Britain and hold indirect talks with the United States over its nuclear program and sanctions.

"We do not respond to the continuing tension with some European countries," Rohani said, according to his official website.

In a clear reference to Britain, Rohani said that "if these countries abide by state frameworks and abandon their wrongful actions, including what they have arranged in Gibraltar, they will see an appropriate response from Iran."

Relations between Tehran and London have been strained by the British authorities' seizure of an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar in early June and Tehran's seizure of a British-flagged vessel in the waters of the Gulf last week.

Rowhani also stressed that Iran was ready for talks in the event of a "truce" in the economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic.

The hostility between Iran and the United States has grown since President Trump's withdrawal last year from a nuclear deal in 2015 aimed at reducing Iran's nuclear activities and re-imposing sanctions on Iran.

"In this regard, some countries act as mediators, although they say they are not only intermediaries and express their opinions," he said.

"There have been some correspondence from both sides on this issue and we continue to do so," he said.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited Tehran in June for talks aimed at defusing tensions between Iran and the United States.

Earlier this month, French President Emmanuel Macaron, chief adviser Emmanuel Bonn, sent Iran to "devise a strategy to reduce tension."

Japan and France have denied working as an intermediary between Iran and the United States.


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