Iran: No new deal on nukes

Of­fi­cial says Trump ‘ma­li­ciously vi­o­lat­ing’ 2015 agree­ment

The Dallas Morning News - - World -

TEHRAN, Iran — Ira­nian of­fi­cials, re­spond­ing to Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s call to re­vise the nu­clear agree­ment, said they would re­ject any changes to the 2015 deal, call­ing it “not rene­go­tiable.”

Iran’s for­eign min­is­ter, Mo­ham­mad Javad Zarif, wrote Satur­day on Twit­ter that the nu­clear agree­ment be­tween Iran, the United States and other world pow­ers was “a solid mul­ti­lat­eral agree­ment” that Trump was “ma­li­ciously vi­o­lat­ing.”

Trump on Fri­day, once again, re­luc­tantly signed sanc­tion waivers cru­cial to keep the agree­ment in place, but he also de­manded that Euro­pean al­lies agree to re­write the nu­clear deal within 120 days or else he would kill it.

Trump also an­nounced new sanc­tions against 14 en­ti­ties and in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing against the chief of Iran’s hard-line dom­i­nated ju­di­ciary, Ay­a­tol­lah Sadegh AmoliLar­i­jani, for his in­volve­ment in pun­ish­ing pro­test­ers who took part in anti-gov­ern­ment ral­lies this month.

A se­ries of de­mon­stra­tions over the econ­omy, which also turned against Iran’s Is­lamic es­tab­lish­ment, erupted in nearly 80 cities na­tion­wide the first week of the year, with sev­eral turn­ing vi­o­lent. At least 21 peo­ple are be­lieved to have died dur­ing the protests, and nearly 4,000 peo­ple were ar­rested.

Iran’s For­eign Min­istry said Satur­day that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion had “crossed a red line of in­ter­na­tional be­hav­ior” by im­pos­ing sanc­tions against Amoli-Lar­i­jani. The min­istry said that the de­ci­sion went against in­ter­na­tional law and that the ac­tion would re­ceive a “se­ri­ous re­sponse” from Iran.

Trump’s ul­ti­ma­tum comes at a time when Iran’s econ­omy is strug­gling, and the nu­clear deal has not de­liv­ered on the prom­ises made by Iran’s pres­i­dent, Has­san Rouhani, for eco­nomic im­prove­ment.

The agree­ment Trump wants to make with the Euro­peans should also in­volve Iran’s long-range mis­sile pro­gram, the White House said Fri­day. Trump also wants Iran to al­low the im­me­di­ate in­spec­tion of all sites as re­quested by U.N. in­spec­tors, and he de­mands no lapse of the “sun­set” pro­vi­sions im­pos­ing curbs on Iran’s nu­clear pro­gram.

The coun­tries that ne­go­ti­ated the mul­ti­lat­eral 2015 agree­ment with the United States re­sponded with dis­ap­proval or cau­tion. Rus­sia called Trump’s re­marks “ex­tremely neg­a­tive.” China said the deal now faces “com­pli­cat­ing fac­tors.” And the Euro­pean Union said it would “as­sess” the im­pli­ca­tions.

Bri­tain, France, Ger­many and the Euro­pean Union all helped ne­go­ti­ate the deal, and the agree­ment is as much with them as it is with the United States and Iran.

But while Euro­peans also are con­cerned about Iran’s be­hav­ior in non-nu­clear is­sues, they have called the nu­clear agree­ment suc­cess­ful and es­sen­tial to their se­cu­rity. They also have said they don’t think it re­al­is­ti­cally can be mod­i­fied and have urged the United States to stick to its com­mit­ments.

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