Iran rejects Trump's call for changes to nuclear deal

Iran rejects Trump's call for changes to nuclear deal

Iran rejects Trump's call for changes to nuclear deal

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday delivered an ultimatum to Washington's European allies to fix the "terrible flaws" in the Iran nuclear deal, or he'll pull the U.S. out in a few months' time.

Washington also announced sanctions against 14 entities and people, including the head of Iran's judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.

"The nuclear deal is an internationally recognized and concluded pact and is not renegotiable", Tehran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, adding that Iran "will not accept any change in the deal, neither now nor in future".

"Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the bad flaws of the Iran nuclear deal", he said in a statement.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal between Iran, the U.S., China, France, Russia, Britain, Germany and the European Union.

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Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Trump is signalling that the decision to withdraw from the multilateral accord "is already made or is about to be made", which he called one of the U.S.'s "largest foreign-policy mistakes, one of the largest miscalculations of American politics." according to Interfax.

The 2015 nuclear accord, reached after months of painstaking negotiations with the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, China and Russian Federation, lifted worldwide sanctions in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear program.

As a signatory to the global Non-Proliferation Treaty, Iran has committed to not building nuclear weapons, even after the restrictions on its program lapse, and it is entitled to use nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. These restrictions were levied because of Iran's human rights violations, support of terrorism, and pursuit of a ballistic missile program. He said he would only sign it if an Iranian refusal to allow United Nations inspectors to visit sites triggered an automatic re-imposition of US sanctions.

The sanctions Trump waived Friday dealt with Iran's central bank. Iran must allow "immediate inspections at all sites requested by worldwide inspectors", he said, and "sunset" provisions imposing limits on Iran's nuclear program must not expire.

"It's incumbent on those who oppose the (deal) really to come up with that better solution, because we haven't seen it so far", he said.

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But the president also promised to scrap the landmark agreement in 120 days if Congress and European allies don't meet his new demands for strengthening the deal - throwing down the gauntlet on a signature achievement of Barack Obama's presidency.

One official said Trump would be open to remaining in a modified deal if it was made permanent. They argue that if the US pulls out, Iran might kick out global nuclear inspectors.

"My impression talking to Europeans is, yes, they want to salvage the deal", but imposing new requirements on Iran may give it reason to walk away.

The calculus is trickier within the GOP, which united against the Iran deal when Obama inked it. My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon-not just for ten years, but forever.

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