Iran's new President Hasan Rouhani after his first press conference

Iran's new President Hasan Rouhani after his first press conference Ebrahim Noroozi/AP

Iran: U.S. Is Sending Mixed Messages on Sanctions

Iran's new president says he's still open to negotiations with the Obama administration. By Golnaz Esfandiari

Just a few hours after the August 4 inauguration of Iran's new president, Hassan Rohani, the White House issued a statement saying that Tehran would find a willing partner in Washington should it choose to engage "substantively and seriously" on the issue of its controversial nuclear activities.

That sentiment bore little resemblance to what many members of Congress have been saying recently, which is that now is not the time to scale back tough sanctions. In fact, dozens of lawmakers are working to enact even tougher sanctions against the Islamic republic.

Rohani focused on what he characterized as Washington's mixed signals in his postinaugural press conference on August 6. "The statements of the White House are not in line with some of the behavior we're seeing," he said. "Overall, I'm not pessimistic about the future of negotiations."

The 64-year-old moderate cleric said the Iranian establishment had "strong political will" to resolve the nuclear issue while preserving the rights of the Iranian people.

The former nuclear negotiator said constructive dialogue and negotiations based on mutual respect could lead to a "win-win" situation. He said Iran was ready to engage in serious talks without wasting time, and would respond appropriately to practical measures by the United States.

Read more at The Atlantic.