September 24, 2019 / 5:48 PM / 22 days ago

Merkel wants U.S., Iran talks but can't see sanctions lifted first

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel would welcome talks between the United States and Iran, but after speaking to the presidents of both countries on Tuesday, said it was unrealistic to expect Washington to lift sanctions on the Islamic Republic first.

“I would welcome it if it came to talks between the United States and Iran but it won’t work that all sanctions are first taken off the table and then there are talks. I think that is not realistic,” Merkel said on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

Earlier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had said he was open to discuss small changes, additions or amendments to a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six major powers if the United States lifted sanctions.

Reporting by Andreas Rinke; Writing by Madeline Chambers

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