0311 GMT February 20, 2020
Speaking in a telephone conversation with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron late on Tuesday, Rouhani said Europe has already lost a great deal of opportunities to honor its commitments and cooperate with Iran, stressing that normalization of oil trade and banking transactions is the primary expectation that the Islamic Republic would like Europe to satisfy, Press TV reported.
The president hailed as positive the recent visit of his special envoy to France – Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi – and stressed the need for continued talks between Tehran and Paris to ensure two sides’ commitment to the JCPOA.
Rouhani also lauded the French president’s efforts to resolve existing issues, saying, “Iran has always welcomed any initiative aimed at fair solutions and constructive dialogue.”
Paris has engaged in intense diplomacy seeking to solve the current tensions, with Macron's foreign policy adviser Emmanuel Bonne twice visiting Tehran.
The Elysee said Macron had a "long" discussion with Rouhani during the French leader's annual holiday at his summer retreat, the medieval fort of Bregancon on France's Mediterranean coast, AFP reported.
The French president reiterated his call for a de-escalation of tensions between Iran and the United States, the Elysee said.
"It is France's role to make every effort to ensure that all parties agree to a break and open negotiations," the French presidency said.
The 2015 deal over Iran's nuclear program has begun to unravel since US President Donald Trump announced Washington was pulling out of the agreement last year and reimposed sanctions, to the dismay of European allies.
France, Britain and Germany were among the key players in the pact.
Rouhani also called US sanctions against Iran as economic terrorism and inhumane, stressing that it is unacceptable to the Iranian people to see their country standing committed to JCPOA obligations while the other side doesn’t demonstrate the least level of commitment.
He added that the US policy to stoke tensions in the Middle East will have negative repercussions on the security and stability of the region and beyond.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has always been the main guarantor of security and freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman,” Rouhani pointed out.
“Unfortunately, Europe has lost many opportunities over the past year to fulfill its commitments and cooperate with Iran. The more time passes by and Iran goes on with reducing its JCPOA commitments, the harder it gets for both sides to return to the start point,” he said.
The Iranian president noted that Tehran will reverse decision to reduce its JCPOA commitments once its economic interests are secured.
Macron also "recalled the need to initiate a de-escalation of tensions," the Elysee added.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to visit Macron in Bregancon in mid-August ahead of a G7 summit in Biarritz which will present "new opportunities to discuss the Iranian issue," according to the Elysee.