May 8, 2018 / 7:42 AM / 2 months ago

Ahead of Trump decision, Iran says it seeks constructive relations with the world

LONDON (Reuters) - Iran seeks constructive relations with the world but will continue domestic development despite possible sanctions, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, hours before U.S. President Donald Trump announces a decision on Iran’s nuclear deal.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani attends a meeting with Muslim leaders and scholars in Hyderabad, India, February 15, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Trump has repeatedly threatened to withdraw from the deal, which lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran limiting its nuclear ambitions, unless European allies who also signed the deal fix what he has called its shortcomings.

Trump will announce his final decision on Tuesday 1800 GMT.

“The foundation of our foreign policy is constructive relations with the world,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television.

“If we are under sanctions or not, we should stand on our own feet. This is very important for the development of our country,” Rouhani said in a meeting with oil managers in Tehran.

Iran said on Monday that its oil industry would continue to develop even if the United States re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.

Sanctions imposed on Iran in early 2012 by the United States and European Union over its nuclear program cut Iran’s crude exports from a peak of 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) before the sanctions to a little more than one million bpd.

But Iran re-emerged as a major oil exporter in January 2016 when international sanctions were suspended.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin, Editing by William Maclean

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