“Even if U.S. allies, especially the Europeans, try to revise the deal…, one of our options will be withdrawing from it.”
May 4, 2018 (DESPARDES/PKONWEB) — Iran’s foreign minister said on Thursday U.S. demands to change its 2015 nuclear agreement with the 6 world powers – the US, UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany – were unacceptable as a deadline set by President Trump for Europeans to “fix” the deal loomed– those changes have included proposals to limit Iran’s ballistic missile program, which Tehran says it has as a defensive deterrent.
Trump has warned that unless European allies rectify the “terrible flaws” in the international accord by May 12, he will refuse to extend U.S. sanctions relief for the oil-producing Islamic Republic– in late 2017, Trump refused to certify the nuclear deal to Congress.
“Iran will not renegotiate what was agreed years ago and has been implemented,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a 5-minute video message posted on YouTube and Twitter. He said his country has complied with the deal, while the U.S. has violated its terms.
“We will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add onto a deal we have already implemented in good faith,” Zarif said.
He argued that the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog has independently confirmed on 11 occasions that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the agreement.
“In contrast, the U.S. has consistently violated the agreement, especially by bullying others from doing business with Iran,” Zarif asserted.
A senior adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also warned Europeans on Thursday over “revising” the nuclear deal, under which Iran strictly limited its enrichment of uranium to help allay fears this could be put to producing atomic bomb material, and won major sanctions relief in return.
“Even if U.S. allies, especially the Europeans, try to revise the deal…, one of our options will be withdrawing from it,” state television quoted Ali Akbar Velayati as saying.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to comment on the video during Thursday’s press briefing.
Trump has been a staunch critic of the Obama-era deal, which he has dubbed the “worst ever,” and has set a May 12 deadline for European allies to agree to a supplemental deal that addresses what he views as flaws in the agreement.
Referring to Trump’s past as a property magnate, Zarif said, “To put it in real estate terms, when you buy a house and move your family in, or demolish it to build a skyscraper, you cannot come back two years later and renegotiate the price.”
Major European banks and businesses continue to shun Iran for fear of falling foul of remaining U.S. sanctions, hampering Iran’s efforts to rebuild foreign trade and attract much-needed foreign investment to its economy.
The 2015 deal between Iran and the United States, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany and the European Union provided Tehran billions in sanctions relief in exchange for curbing its nuclear program.
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While Trump wants to renegotiate the historic 6-nation deal, Britain, France and Germany remain committed to the accord as is, but now, in efforts to keep Washington in it, want to open talks on Iran’s ballistic missile program, its nuclear activities beyond 2025 – when key provisions of the deal expire – and its role in Middle East crises such as Syria and Yemen.
The European signatories to the deal have been trying to persuade Trump to save the pact. They argue it is crucial to forestalling a destabilizing Middle East arms race and that Iran has been abiding by its terms, a position also taken by U.S. intelligence assessments and the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency.