Iran: Nuke deal will not be renegotiated under Trump
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Iran: Nuke deal will not be renegotiated under Trump

On first anniversary of accord, deputy foreign minister says ‘the new US administration cannot abandon’ it

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi enters the mission of the European Union building on December 17, 2014 in Geneva. (Photo credit: AFP/ FABRICE COFFRINI)
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi enters the mission of the European Union building on December 17, 2014 in Geneva. (Photo credit: AFP/ FABRICE COFFRINI)

Iran’s deputy foreign minister said Sunday the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers “will not be renegotiated” ahead of US President-elect Donald Trump taking office this week.

In a press conference Sunday marking the one-year anniversary of the agreement’s implementation, Abbas Araghchi told reporters that “the new US administration cannot abandon the deal.”

Trump was critical of the nuclear deal during the presidential campaign and pledged to renegotiate it, but he hasn’t offered many specifics on his plans since the election.

Araghchi repeated an earlier warning by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who publicly stated, “If they tear it up, we will burn it,” without elaborating.

President-elect Donald Trump during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY)
President-elect Donald Trump during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017. (AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY)

The United States is doing “whatever it can to slow down Iran’s progress” after the deal, the senior official charged.

“In the last 12 months, we have witnessed delays and the disrespecting of promises by the US and some countries. Their hostility increases by the day,” Araghchi said.

In confirmation hearings ahead of Trump’s January 20 inauguration, several of his cabinet nominees made clear their opposition to a further softening of ties with Tehran.

Secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson said he would recommend a “full review” of the nuclear agreement.

Defense secretary pick James Mattis said Washington needed to “live up” to its word on the accord, but also described Iran as “the biggest destabilizing force in the Middle East.”

Despite his fierce rhetoric and the views of senior cabinet members, Trump is not likely to try to reverse the deal, experts say.

“The situation may become worse, but the (nuclear deal) will not be torn up, simply because that’s stupid,” said Nasser Hadian, a professor of international relations at Tehran University.

The agreement, which lifted a wide range of international sanctions in exchange for limits on Iran’s nuclear program, took effect on January 16, 2016 following years of talks.

The deal was negotiated by Tehran and six world powers including the United States, Russia and China.

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