Idea of New ‘Trump Deal’ Rejected as Bizarre
EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani rejected a proposal for a new “Trump deal” aimed at resolving Iran’s nuclear dispute, saying it is a “bizarre” offer and criticized US President Donald Trump for being in the habit of going back on his pledges.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has described Trump as “a great dealmaker”, called on Tuesday for him to replace the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and major powers with his own new pact to ensure Tehran never acquires nuclear arms, Reuters reported.
Iran denies any military aspect to its nuclear program, which it says is only for peaceful purposes, according to Financial Tribune.
Trump said he agreed with Johnson that a “Trump deal” should replace the Iran nuclear deal.
In a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Rouhani told the US to return to the nuclear pact, which Washington abandoned in 2018, under which Tehran accepted curbs on its nuclear work in return for the lifting of international sanctions.
Since quitting the agreement, Washington has reimposed tough sanctions to squeeze Iran’s oil exports as part of a “maximum pressure” campaign.
The United States says its aim is to compel Tehran to agree a broader deal that puts stricter limits on its nuclear work, curbs its ballistic missile program and limits its regional role. Iran says it will not negotiate as long as sanctions remain in place.
Tehran has gradually taken steps to reduce its compliance with the deal, which prompted Britain, France and Germany to formally accuse it on Tuesday of violating the terms.
“This prime minister in London, I don’t know how he thinks. He says let’s put aside the nuclear deal and put the Trump plan in action,” Rouhani said, President.ir reported.
“If you follow the wrong step, it will harm you. Choose the right path. The right path is to return to the nuclear deal.”
Iran says the cuts in commitment to the deal would be reversed, if Washington lifts sanctions or Europe adopts effective measures to offset the impact of US penalties.
“All of our activities are under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency,” Rouhani stressed.
Deal Not Dead
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told Reuters that the deal was still alive.
“No, it’s not dead. It’s not dead,” Zarif said on the sidelines of a conference in New Delhi.
But he told the conference that Trump’s withdrawal from the deal made new negotiations with Washington pointless.
In its biggest step away from the agreement yet, Iran announced on Jan. 5 it would abandon all limitations on enriching uranium set down in the pact.
Britain, France and Germany reacted by activating a dispute mechanism in the deal on Tuesday, which eventually could lead to the reimposition of UN sanctions. Iran called this step a “strategic mistake”.
Rouhani censured European powers for not standing up to Trump. Iran is dismayed by pathetic European efforts that failed to sidestep the US sanctions, or set up an independent financial mechanism for trading with Iran.
The flare-up in nuclear diplomacy comes, as military confrontation between Washington and Tehran has also reached a new peak.
The United States assassinated a top Iranian general in a drone strike in Baghdad on Jan. 3. Tehran responded a week ago by launching missiles at US targets in Iraq.
Hours later, Iran shot down a Ukrainian airliner in what the authorities have acknowledged as a tragic mistake.
Rouhani reiterated Iran’s longstanding position that peace can come to the Middle East only when the United States withdraws.
“American soldiers today are not secure in the region ... We don’t want there to be insecurity in the world. We want you to go from here, but not with war. We want you to leave the region intelligently and it’s to your benefit,” Rouhani said.