Thursday, 19 July, 2018

Iran rejects Trump’s call to renegotiate terms of nuclear deal

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Iran said Saturday that the 2015 nuclear deal with the United States and other key world powers “cannot be renegotiated in any way,” rejecting President Trump’s threat to pull out of the agreement if the other parties do not fix its “disastrous flaws.”

Trump, after months of railing against the agreement, signed a waiver on Friday keeping the deal in place for at least 90 days but called for changes, particularly removal of so-called “sunset clauses” that allow Iran to gradually resume advanced nuclear activities in the next decade. .

“Despite my strong inclination, I have not yet withdrawn the United States from the Iran nuclear deal,” Trump said in a statement, warning that the options were to fix “the deal’s disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw.”

“This is a last chance,” he added.

Britain, France and Germany had called on Trump on Thursday to uphold the pact.

Iran’s foreign ministry in a statement ruled out any renegotiation of the terms, saying it “will not accept any changes in this agreement now or in the future” nor allow it to be linked to any other issue.

The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was reached in 2015 among Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States) plus Germany and the European Union.

Under its terms, economic sanctions against Iran were to be lifted in exchange for Tehran halting uranium enrichment.

Trump also wants to make Iran’s long-range missile program subject to sanctions under the agreement. The deal, negotiated by the Obama administration is centered solely on the Iranian’s nuclear weapons program.

The foreign ministry noted in an earlier note Saturday on its website that the agreement  is “not a bilateral agreement that can be annulled by unilateral action.”

“The U.S. government, like other parties to the deal, is obliged to fulfill all its obligations, and if it fails to comply with its obligations under false pretexts, it should be fully held accountable for the consequences,” the foreign ministry said in its statement.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said earlier on Twitter that the deal was “not renegotiable” and that Trump’s move “amounts to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement.”

Although Trump approved the waiver on U.S. sanctions as spelled out in the deal, Washington announced other sanctions against 14 Iranian entities and individuals, including judiciary head Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, a close ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Describing sanctions against Larijani as “hostile action,” the foreign ministry said the move “crossed all the red lines of conduct in the international community. It is a violation of international law and a breach of bilateral and international obligations of the United States, which will surely face the strong reaction of the Islamic Republic.”

Via: USA Today

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