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Iran rejects Trump's demand for changes to nuclear deal

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the 2015 deal could not be renegotiated [AFP]

Date of publication: 13 January, 2018

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Iran said it rejects any changes to its 2015 nuclear deal with world powers after Donald Trump vowed to pull out of the accord if certain amendments were not made.
Iran will reject any changes to the 2015 JCPOA nuclear deal with world powers, Tehran announced on Saturday, after US President Donald Trump called for tough new measures to keep the accord alive. 

Iran "will not accept any amendments in this agreement, be it now or in the future, and it will not allow any other issues to be linked to the JCPOA", Iran's foreign ministry said in a statement carried by state-run IRNA.

It also said Iran would not allow the deal to be linked to other issues, after Trump suggested that the sanctions relief under the deal be tied to Iran limiting its long-range ballistic missile programme. 

Trump again waived nuclear-related sanctions on Friday - as required every few months to stay in the agreement - but demanded European partners work with the United States to "fix the deal's disastrous flaws, or the United States will withdraw".

He said the new deal should curb Iran's missile programme and include permanent restrictions on Iran's nuclear plants, removing expiration dates due to kick in after a decade.

But Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif said the 2015 deal could not be renegotiated.

"JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating tired rhetoric, US must bring itself into full compliance - just like Iran," Zarif tweeted immediately after Trump's speech.

The statement from his ministry further criticised new sanctions on 14 individuals announced by the US treasury on Friday over human rights issues and Iran's missile programme.

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".

Iran argues that continued US sanctions on non-nuclear areas such as human rights and missile testing have effectively barred Iran from gaining many of the financial benefits expected from the deal. 

Zarif has said Trump's aggressive stance on the deal and Iran generally have also violated the commitment to "refrain from any policy specifically intended to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran" in the accord.

The 2015 nuclear accord, reached after months of painstaking negotiations with the US, the UK, France, Germany, China and Russia, lifted international sanctions in exchange for Iran limiting its nuclear programme.

Trump has repeatedly criticised the accord, while Iran has accused the US of failing to comply with it.

The next sanctions waivers are due in May.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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