Iran's Rouhani slams US 'lies' on negotiations offer
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said Tuesday that Washington is "lying" about offering to negotiate to calm down recent tensions and slammed new US sanctions on Tehran.
"At the same time as you call for negotiations you seek to sanction the foreign minister? It's obvious that you're lying," Rouhani said in a meeting with ministers broadcast live on TV.
Trump imposed new sanctions Monday against Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and top military chiefs, further raising the stakes in an escalating regional standoff.
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif - a moderate figure and key architect of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal - and eight top commanders from Iran's Revolutionary Guards were also sanctioned too.
Despite US National Security Advisor John Bolton on Tuesday described as "deafening" Iran's apparent silence on an offer to negotiate with Washington.
"The president has held the door open to real negotiations," Bolton said in a statement.
"In response, Iran's silence has been deafening," he added during a visit to Jerusalem.
Iran shot down a US spy drone last week leading to tensions between Washington and Tehran, which nearly resulted in American strikes.
Bolton said Tuesday the US remains open to negotiations, more than a year after Washington pulled out of a landmark nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.
"All that Iran needs to do is to walk though that open door," he said.