Trump has ‘failed to undermine’ nuke deal, Rouhani boasts

Trump has ‘failed to undermine’ nuke deal, Rouhani boasts

Iranian president hails 2015 pact as 'long-lasting victory' for his country, after US president waives sanctions renewal 'for the last time'

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, December 31, 2017. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, December 31, 2017. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani boasted Sunday that recent efforts by US President Donald Trump have “failed to undermine” the 2015 nuclear deal.

Speaking live on state television, Rouhani said that “the American administration has failed to undermine the nuclear deal” and that “Trump, despite his repeated efforts, has failed to undermine the accord,” Reuters reported.

“The deal is a long-lasting victory for Iran,” added Rouhani.

Trump signed a waiver on Friday keeping the Iran nuclear deal alive for the moment, but stated it would be the last time he did so unless Congress and European countries heeded his call to strengthen the deal.

Faced with a deadline over whether to reimpose the sanctions against Tehran that were lifted under the 2015 nuclear accord, Trump ultimately decided to keep those sanctions suspended for 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,” Trump said in a statement. “This is a last chance.”

US President Donald Trump speaks during a press conference with Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House January 10, 2018. (AFP Photo/Brendan Smialowski)

“In the absence of such an agreement,” he went on, “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.”

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. It currently expires after a decade.

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

Iran has repeatedly said that the nuclear accord cannot be renegotiated, including on Saturday when the Iranian Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Tehran would “accept no changes” to the deal and will not allow the accord to be linked to any non-nuclear issue.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran stresses clearly that it will take no measures beyond its commitments under the JCPOA [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — the deal’s official name] and will accept no changes to this agreement now or in the future, and will not allow that the JCPOA be linked to any other issue [than the nuclear issue],” said Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

The ministry added, “The internal solidity of and international support for the agreement have blocked attempts by Mr. Trump, the Zionist regime and the ominous alliance of hard-line warmongers to terminate this agreement or make changes to it.”

Agencies and Eric Cortellessa contributed to this report

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