Iranian official: No negotiations on deal


Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran

Iran’s foreign minister took to YouTube on Thursday to criticize President Donald Trump’s threat to withdraw from the nuclear deal, saying Iran will not “renegotiate or add onto” the atomic accord.

Mohammad Javad Zarif’s video, which also was posted to Trump’s favorite social media platform, Twitter, appeared to be taking his message to the masses after earlier speaking to news outlets across the United States to defend the deal.

It comes as Trump has signaled he will withdraw from the agreement by May 12 if it is not renegotiated and changed. Those changes have included proposals to limit Iran’s ballistic missile program, which Tehran says it has as a defensive deterrent.

The five-minute video shows Zarif behind his desk, delivering his message on the deal. He offers background first about the deal before laying into Trump and criticizing Europe for offering “the United States more concessions from our pocket.”

“On 11 occasions since, the U.N. nuclear watchdog has confirmed that Iran has implemented all of its obligations,” Zarif, who studied in the U.S., says in American-accented English. “In contrast, the U.S. has consistently violated the agreement, especially by bullying others from doing business with Iran.”

Zarif adds: “Let me make it absolutely clear once and for all: We will neither outsource our security nor will we renegotiate or add onto a deal we have already implemented in good faith.”

There was no immediate response from Washington.

The 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers saw Tehran limit its enrichment of uranium and number of spinning centrifuges, as well as hand over its stockpile of uranium and reconfigure a heavy-water reactor so it couldn’t produce plutonium. In exchange, Iran regained access to the global banking system and could sell its oil again on the world market.

Airplane manufacturers, carmakers and others have rushed into Iran after the accord. However, some Western firms have grown increasingly reluctant to enter the market, in part over Trump’s constant criticism on the campaign trail and from the White House on the deal.

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