Tehran Rejects Any Change in Nuclear Deal

Tehran Rejects Any Change in Nuclear Deal

Sunday, 14 January, 2018 - 08:30
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif shown in this Jan. 11, 2018 photo. AFP, Getty
London, Moscow - Adel al-Salmi & Taha Abdulwahed
In the first official response to Washington's move to extend the sanctions "for the last time,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry announced Saturday its rejection for any modification in the nuclear deal with world powers now or in the future, stressing that it will not allow any other issues to be linked to the JCPOA.

It issued an official statement including nine remarks on Trump's position on waiving the sanctions "for the last time."

Moscow and Beijing, for their part, criticized the US move, and China pledged to play a constructive role in supporting and implementing Iran's nuclear deal.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump gave his European allies 120 days to start negotiations over Iran's ballistic missile program, reversing his earlier threat to quit the nuclear deal.

Trump said four "critical components" must now be worked into the agreement in order for the United States not to withdraw permanently from it: immediate inspections at all sites requested by international inspectors, measures to ensure Iran "never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon", no policy "expiration date", and no distinction between the Republic's long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs regarding the imposition of sanctions.

The president wants the Congress to modify a law that reviews US participation in the nuclear deal to include “trigger points” that, if violated, would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, a senior official was quoted as saying by Reuters.

This would not entail negotiations with Iran, the official said, but rather would be the result of talks between the United States and its European allies.

While Trump approved the sanctions waiver, the Treasury Department announced new targeted sanctions against 14 entities and people, including Head of Iran’s judiciary Sadegh Larijani, who is a close ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, because of his role in human rights violations.

Saturday's statement from Iran's foreign ministry further criticized the new sanctions over human rights issues and Iran's missile program.

In particular, placing judiciary chief Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani on the sanctions list "crossed all red lines of conduct in the international community ... and the government of the United States will bear responsibility for all the consequences of this hostile move.”

One day before Trump’s announcement, the three European countries (Germany, Britain and France) announced in Brussels that they adhere to the nuclear deal and confirmed its readiness to negotiate with Iran on its regional role and its ballistic missiles program.

For its part, Russia criticized Trump’s remarks on the nuclear deal. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow considers comments by US President on the nuclear deal with Iran as “extremely negative.”

In remarks carried by RIA state news agency, Ryabkov said “We are gradually coming to the conclusion that an internal decision by the US to leave the JCPOA has already been made or is close to being made”.

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