Iran’s Rouhani rules out talks about JCPOA, missiles

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the Islamic Republic will never hold negotiations either about the 2015 multilateral nuclear agreement or its defensive missile program.

“We never regard other issues linked to the JCPOA (the nuclear agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). The JCPOA is a seven-sided agreement…The JCPOA is an international agreement which has been endorsed by the Security Council Resolution 2231,” Rouhani said at a press conference in the presence of Iranian and foreign reporters in Tehran on Tuesday.

He added that the JCPOA was such a solid agreement that US President Donald Trump has failed to fulfill his presidential campaign promise to tear it up since he took office some one year ago.

Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany signed the nuclear agreement on July 14, 2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.

Under the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.

Trump has repeatedly described the JCPOA, which was negotiated under his predecessor Barack Obama, as “the worst and most one-sided transaction Washington has ever entered into,” a characterization he often used during his presidential campaign and threatened to tear it up.

Rouhani emphasized that the US president wrongly believes that the JCPOA is an agreement belonging to Democrats, saying, “The JCPOA is the commitment of the US administration regardless of any [political] party.”

He said any move by the United States to violate its obligations under the nuclear accord would discredit Washington itself.

In response to a question about the insistence of the US and the European Union on holding re-negotiations over the JCPOA terms and including Iran’s missile program in the deal, Rouhani said it is not possible to renegotiate or rewrite the agreement.

“It is meaningless to negotiate or discuss the JCPOA with anybody, whether the US and Europe or anyone else,” the Iranian president pointed out.

A senior Iranian official said on January 23 the idea of making revisions to the JCPOA is brazen, stressing that the suggestion is a mere delusion entertained by the US president.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Ali Shamkhani said Washington’s recent attempts to jeopardize the nuclear accord were illegal, adding that there is no possibility of renegotiating the JCPOA under any circumstances.


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