Iran dismisses Trump’s ‘worthless’ conditions for renewing nuke deal
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Iran dismisses Trump’s ‘worthless’ conditions for renewing nuke deal

Regime official reiterates refusal to renegotiate after US demands increased inspections, supervision of missile program

Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during the Tehran Security Conference in Tehran, Iran, January 8, 2018. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)
Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during the Tehran Security Conference in Tehran, Iran, January 8, 2018. (Ebrahim Noroozi/AP)

Iran blasted US President Donald Trump’s conditions for renewing a landmark nuclear deal it signed in 2015 between with world powers, calling the conditions “worthless” and “inappropriate.”

“The US has a long-term experience of raising allegations and projecting the blame on Iran and this story will continue given the US excessive demands,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi told reporters Monday in Tehran.

“We should not take seriously the words which are in vain and worthless, because such words are continuously repeated and I think that they will not yield any results for the US,” he added, according to the semi-official Fars news site.

Qassemi also accused the US of failing to fully comply with the agreement, and said that as a result, Iran hasn’t been able to “fully benefit” from it, the report added.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Ghassemi (YouTube screenshot)

In January, Trump signed a waiver to keep the deal alive, but vowed it would be the last time he did so, unless the US and Europe worked to strengthen it.

“Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies’ agreement to fix the terrible flaws of the Iran nuclear deal,” Trump said in a statement. “This is a last chance.”

His administration has expressed concerned that parts of the deal begin expiring in 2026 and that it fails to address Iran’s missile program, its regional activities or its human rights abuses.

At the time, Trump laid out four conditions that must be met for him to not abrogate the deal, including increased inspections, ensuring that “Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon” and that there is no expiration date to the nuke deal. The current one expires after a decade.

His last condition required Capitol Hill lawmakers to pass a bill unilaterally incorporating Iran’s missile program into the deal.

Trump must sign the next waiver by May 12.

In this Friday, Oct. 13, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump makes a statement on Iran policy in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

On Thursday, a UN atomic watchdog report said that Tehran is sticking to the nuclear deal, but is looking to develop seaborne nuclear capabilities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency document, the ninth since the deal came into force in January 2016, showed Iran complying with the accord’s key parameters four months ahead of Trump’s deadline to fix its “disastrous flaws.”

However, the IAEA report also said that Iran informed it in January by letter of a decision to “construct naval nuclear propulsion in future.”

This has created concern in the past because of the possibility that Iran might use highly enriched uranium, forbidden under the nuclear deal, to power such vessels.

Uranium, when enriched to high levels of purity, can be used in a nuclear weapon. At low levels, it can be used for peaceful applications such as power generation — Iran’s stated aim.

While the IAEA reports have consistently shown Iran adhering to the deal in the two years since it took effect, the future of the hard-won agreement between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany is highly uncertain.

Times of Israel staff and agencies contributed to this report.

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