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Iranian President hints at possible tanker swap with Britain, talks with US

President of Iran Hassan Rouhani (right) during the trilateral meeting of the heads of states, guarantors of the Astana process for facilitating the Syrian peace settlement on Feb. 14, 2019. (Kremlin/Released)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Iranian President Hassan Rohani has hinted that Tehran is open to a possible tanker swap with Britain and indirect talks with the United States over its nuclear program and sanctions.

“We don’t want tensions with some European countries,” Rohani said in comments posted on the official government website on July 24.

Rohani said if Britain were to “cease the incorrect acts that they have done, including that of Gibraltar, Iran’s response would be” appropriate to their actions.

Tensions between Iran and Britain have escalated since the British Royal Navy’s capture of an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar and Iran’s subsequent seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

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Rohani also said Tehran would be open to talks with Washington should there be a “cease-fire” in crippling economic sanctions imposed by the United States against Iran.

Tensions between Iran and the United States have soared since last year, when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers that curbed Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for relief from international sanctions.

Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China remain signatories to the accord and have said they will preserve it.