Iranian President Hassan Rouhani did not rule out the possibility of a thaw in relations between Tehran and Washington, but made it clear that the key to the normalization of ties is in the hands of the US, not Iran. “Establishment of non-hostile relations, without tensions, between the two countries (Iran and the US) is possible, but its key is in Washington not in Tehran,” President Rouhani said at a press conference in Rome on Wednesday. He told the audience, mainly comprised of the Italian journalists, that he would certainly employ that “key” for de-escalation if it were in Tehran. The president also deplored the US Congress for rushing to opt for sanctions against others as the first option, expressing the hope that future US lawmakers would have a better understanding of world issues. Asked about the presence of US business people in Iran, Rouhani said there is not any obstacle for Americans to invest in Iran, noting that Tehran welcomes US investment in technological fields and joint production. He added that any possible problem in the way of joint economic cooperation derives from the US’s own regulations. The president also hoped the US officials would think more logically about the future of the region, and realize that the regional problems will not be resolved without the presence of Iran. He further highlighted the achievements of his official visit to Italy, noting that teh outcomes of the trip will serve the interests of Iran, Italy, the EU and the region. “We have broad joint economic plans (with Italy), the scope of which is not confined to Iran and Italy, and will include the regional countries as well,” President Rouhani explained. The Iranian chief executive noted that he has also invited the Italian president and prime minister to pay official visits to Iran, saying reciprocal visits will cement ties between Tehran and Rome. Rouhani on Monday arrived in the Italian capital as the first destination of his European tour, which will take him to Paris today. The European visit is Rouhani’s first foreign trip after the nuclear deal between Tehran and the Group 5+1 (Russia, China, the US, Britain, France and Germany) took effect on January 16. The agreement, known as the JCPOA, has terminated all nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, reopened the doors of foreign investment to the country’s market, and prepared the ground for a much-anticipated economic boom.