Iran’s Rouhani questions ‘right’ to seek new nuclear deal

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Tabriz, Apr 25: Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani today questioned the legitimacy of demands for a fresh nuclear agreement with Tehran, after the leaders of the US and France called for a “new” deal.

“Together with a leader of a European country they say: ‘We want to decide on an agreement reached by seven parties’. What for? With what right?” Rouhani said in a speech.

US President Donald Trump has fiercely criticised a three-year-old deal reached by world powers to curb Iran’s nuclear programme, and threatened to pull the US out of the agreement.

Trump is eyeing a broader pact that also limits Iran’s ballistic missile programme and support for armed groups across the Middle East.

European signatories to the 2015 deal have been scrambling to salvage it, with French President Emmanuel Macron saying Tuesday after talks with Trump that he wished “for now to work on a new deal with Iran”.

Iran has repeatedly insisted it is sticking to the nuclear deal and will not negotiate over its missile programme.

Rouhani took aim at Trump — a former real estate mogul and TV reality star — and accused him of lacking in experience.

“You are just a businessman… you have no experience in politics or law or international agreements,” he said. “How can he pass judgements on international affairs?” Rouhani insisted that by agreeing to the nuclear accord in 2015 Tehran “showed goodwill to the world”.

“We wanted to prove to the world that Iran does not seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction.”


Russia says ‘no alternative’ to Iran nuclear deal

Moscow, Apr 25 (AFP) Russia said today that there was “no alternative” to the current Iran nuclear deal, after US President Donald Trump and French counterpart Emmanuel Macron called for a new agreement with Tehran.

“We believe that no alternative exists so far,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, adding that Iran’s position on the subject was paramount.

“We are in favour of keeping the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in its current form,” Peskov added, referring to the nuclear deal hammered out in 2015.

He said the agreement was the product of the efforts of many countries.

“The question is, will it be possible to repeat such successful work in the current situation,” Peskov added.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani rejected the US and French calls, and the EU also insisted the current agreement must stay.

Trump faces a May 12 deadline to decide on the fate of the Iran nuclear accord and is demanding changes that European capitals believe would represent a legal breach.

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