TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Friday US President Donald Trump’s latest attacks on the nuclear deal were a “desperate effort” to undermine an accord that cannot be renegotiated.
“Trump’s policy & today’s announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement,” Zarif tweeted after Trump reluctantly agreed to waive sanctions, but warned it could be the last time.
“JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating tired rhetoric, US must bring itself into full compliance — just like Iran,” Zarif wrote of the nuclear deal.
Trump's policy & today’s announcement amount to desperate attempts to undermine a solid multilateral agreement, maliciously violating its paras 26, 28 & 29. JCPOA is not renegotiable: rather than repeating tired rhetoric, US must bring itself into full compliance -just like Iran.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 12, 2018
Earlier Trump signed a waiver keeping the Iran nuclear deal alive, at least for now, saying this would be the last time unless Congress and the European countries heed his call to unilaterally strengthen the deal.
Faced with a deadline over whether to reimpose sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord, Trump ultimately decided to keep those sanctions suspended for at least another 120 days.
“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. This is a last chance,” Trump said in a statement.
“In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately,” he said.
Trump laid out four conditions that must be met, including increased inspections, ensuring “Iran never even comes close to possessing a nuclear weapon” and that there be no expiry date to the nuke deal. The current one expires after a decade.
His last condition linked the nuclear deal to Iran’s missile program.
“Fourth, the legislation must explicitly state in United States law — for the first time — that long-range missile and nuclear weapons programs are inseparable, and that Iran’s development and testing of missiles should be subject to severe sanctions, the statement said.
“No one should doubt my word,” he said.
“I hereby call on key European countries to join with the United States in fixing significant flaws in the deal, countering Iranian aggression, and supporting the Iranian people. If other nations fail to act during this time, I will terminate our deal with Iran.”
If Trump had not signed those waivers, those sanctions would automatically be reinstated, putting the US in contravention of the deal’s terms and likely spelling the end of the 2015 pact.
Officials said Tehran would not be involved in these new discussions, as it was prior to the signing of the 2015 accord, but would be subject to US and European sanctions if it breaks the terms of the new arrangement.