Iran president: Fresh nuclear talks with US would be ‘waste of time’
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Iran president: Fresh nuclear talks with US would be ‘waste of time’

On sidelines of UN, Rouhani slams Trump administration for trampling its 'legal and legitimate international commitments'

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani answers a question during a press conference in New York on September 20, 2017, on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General assembly. (AFP/Jewel Samad)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani answers a question during a press conference in New York on September 20, 2017, on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General assembly. (AFP/Jewel Samad)

UNITED NATIONS — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Wednesday ruled out talks with US President Donald Trump’s administration on revisiting a 2015 nuclear accord and said Tehran had “various options” if Washington pulls out.

“An American government that chooses to trample on her legal and legitimate international commitments, a conversation with such a government would be a waste of time,” Rouhani told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was set Wednesday to meet his US counterpart Rex Tillerson for the first time as part of the accord, which also involves five other major powers.

But Rouhani said there was no question of reopening negotiations, a day after Trump called the accord an “embarrassment.”

“It is an agreement that took over two years of negotiation over every single word and every single sentence,” he said.

“We were able to agree on mutually acceptable dates and deadlines so this agreement is not something you can touch. If you take out a single brick, the entire building will collapse,” he said.

Rouhani said that Iran had “various options” including “the removal of obstacles” if the United States pulls out of the agreement.

“It means that our hand would be completely open to take any action that we see as beneficial to our country,” he said.

He declined to be more specific but said that Iran will never seek nuclear weapons.

“Iran has never sought, is not now seeking and will never seek nuclear weapons,” he said.

The dispute centers on uranium enrichment, which Iran says is for civilian use but critics, including Israel, say it is intended to build nuclear weapons.

Rouhani said that Iran would also need to look at the stance of the other parties to the agreement — Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia — if the United States pulls out.

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