Iran President Hassan Rouhani
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.Reuters

A day after United States President Donald Trump said he was ready to hold dialogues with Iran, President Hassan Rouhani on Tuesday, August 27, announced that the US must "take their first step" by lifting sanctions.

"The step is to retreat from sanctions. You must retreat from all illegal, unjust and wrong sanctions against the nation of Iran," Rouhani stated on a live broadcast on national television, reported Agence France-Presse.

Referring to a fatwa issued by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on nuclear weapons programme in 2003, Rouhani said Iran has already addressed US concerns and proved not building an atomic bomb. He called lifting sanctions as a "key for positive change."

"So take the first step. Without this step, this lock will not be unlocked," he said.

Speaking at the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France, Trump on Monday told reporters that a meeting between him and President Rouhani is likely to take place in the coming weeks.

Describing Iran as a country of "tremendous potential," the US President said, "I have a good feeling. I think he (Rouhani) is going to want to meet and get their situation straightened out. They are hurting badly."

The news of a likely meeting between the two countries gained momentum after French President Emmanuel Macron revealed at the press conference during G-7 summit that Rouhani told him that Iran was open to meeting Donald Trump. Macron said that he looked forward to a summit between the two countries in the coming weeks.

Tensions between the two countries have worsened after the US withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran and countries participating in oil and other commodity trade with the country.

Iran responded by increasing its production of enriched uranium violating its commitments under the nuclear stockpile limit.

Rouhani and Trump will be attending the United Nations general assembly in New York in September.