Monday, 24 September, 2018


Iran says nuclear deal with major powers not renegotiable

Iran's Hassan Rouhani Iran's Hassan Rouhani
Bennie Garza | 14 January, 2018, 05:08

Trump will now work with European partners on a follow-on agreement that enshrines certain triggers that the Iranian regime can not exceed related to ballistic missiles, said a senior administration officials who briefed reporters on the decision.

French President Emmanuel Macron phoned Mr Trump on Thursday to call for "the strict application of the deal and the importance of all the signatories to respect it". But he affirmed his willingness to withdraw from it in a few months unless changes are made.

The US Congress requires the president to approve sanctions waivers related to the deal - signed by Iran, the US, the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Germany, China and the European Union - every 120 days. "Instead, I have outlined two possible paths forward: either fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

Trump said:"This is a last chance". Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called it. Under the current deal they are set to expire in 2025.

Opponents of the deal note that it doesn't address Iran's support for militant groups or its continued missile development and that the country can use the money it gets from sanctions relief to support those destabilizing efforts.

The president's proposals to "fix the deal's disastrous flaws" include Iran's agreement to open all sites immediately to worldwide inspectors and an assurance from Tehran that it will never develop a nuclear weapon. "The Iranian people know this, which is one reason why so many have taken to the streets to express their outrage". The nuclear accord doesn't directly bar missile testing.

But proponents of the deal say that it forced Iran to destroy much of its nuclear equipment and allow strict inspections that prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. But Trump's refusal to certify the deal to Congress did not pull the US out of the deal itself.

On Friday, Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Twitter on that Trump's decision undermined the multilateral agreement. JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating exhausted rhetoric, USA must bring itself into full compliance -just like Iran.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal between Iran and the other worldwide signatories.

Iran has warned Washington the nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers "is not renegotiable". Trump is also waiving other USA penalties covered by the agreement, including on Iran's oil and gas sectors, which were up for renewal next week.

The statement was made in the wake of US President Donald Trump's announcement on January 12 of his decision to waive sanctions on Iran as required by the JCPOA, also known as the Iran nuclear deal. But his explicit warning to Europe that the deal must be fixed by the time the next sanctions waivers are due in the spring creates a high-stakes diplomatic deadline that will be hard to meet.

One of the reports will likely extend the number of Russian officials and companies on the sanctions list, while the other will analyse whether sanctions so far have proved to be effective, Ryabkov said.

"Russia will do everything in its power to save the agreement", he said.

All parties to the accord would have to agree to any changes. "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. Sometimes called "sunset provisions", many of them lapse in 10 to 15 years.

"I also would like to stress that China is always opposed to the unilateral sanctions imposed by relevant countries [primarily, the United States - TASS] on other countries in accordance with their domestic laws".

Rep. Eliot Engel of NY, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said the demands are unattainable.

"Iran's response will be severe and all consequences of this hostile act will be the responsibility of the United States", it said. "We are targeting the head of Iranian regime, including the head of Iran's judiciary for the appalling treatment of its citizens, including those imprisoned only for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly and for censoring its own people as they stand up in protest of their government".

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