Iran will not accept President Donald Trump’s demands that it renegotiate a nuclear deal with world powers, the country’s top diplomat said Thursday.
In a video message posted to YouTube, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif dismissed the possibility that Tehran would agree to toughen the terms of the 2015 nuclear accord, as the Trump administration has demanded.
“Iran will not renegotiate what was agreed years ago and has been implemented,” he said in English, according to Reuters.
Zarif went on to accuse the U.S. of acting in bad faith, saying it had “consistently violated the nuclear deal, particularly by bullying others from doing business with Iran.”
The video message comes ahead of a May 12 deadline for Trump to decide if he will continue to suspend sanctions against Tehran or resume the penalties in place before the nuclear deal. Trump has signaled that he will re-impose sanctions, a move that his top foreign policy advisers have also endorsed. (RELATED: Pompeo Says Israel Documents Show Nuclear Deal ‘Built On Iran’s Lies’)
State television quoted top foreign policy adviser Ali Akbar Velayati as saying, “If the United States withdraws from the nuclear deal, then we will not stay in it.”
Negotiated by the Obama administration and six other world powers, the nuclear deal gives Iran international sanctions relief in exchange for strict limits on its nuclear program. Supporters of the agreement say it is working to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, while opponents say it will put Tehran in a position to quickly obtain atomic weapons capabilities as soon as the deal’s provision begin to expire in 2025.
Trump’s stance on the nuclear deal has put Washington in a tough spot with European allies who are party to the agreement. Britain, France and Germany have all urged Trump to keep the deal in place, citing reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran is fulfilling its responsibilities under the agreement.
Iranian leaders have said Western attempts to unilaterally modify the terms of the deal would render the agreement void, allowing Tehran to walk away from the deal and resume prohibited nuclear activity. In his video message, Zarif described Iran’s position using a real estate analogy, an apparent dig at Trump, a former real estate developer.
“When you buy a house and move your family in it or demolish it to build a skyscraper, you cannot come back two years later and renegotiate the price,” he said.
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