War of words between Rouhani and Trump over Iran nuke deal

RSTV Bureau
File photo of President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

File photo of President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has ruled out talks with US President Donald Trump’s administration on revisiting the 2015 nuclear accord. He said Tehran had “various options” if Washington pulls out. He also referred to Trump as a “rogue newcomer into world politics.”

“It would be a great pity if this agreement were to be destroyed by rogue newcomers to the world of politics,” Rouhani said in his speech at the UN.

“An American government that chooses to trample on her legal and legitimate international commitments, a conversation with such a government would be a waste of time,” Rouhani told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

“We were able to agree on mutually acceptable dates and deadlines so this agreement is not something you can touch. If you take out a single brick, the entire building will collapse,” he added.

Rouhani also warned that Iran had “various options” including “the removal of obstacles” if the United States pulls out of the agreement.

The Iranian President’s statement comes after Trump said that he has taken a decision on what to do with the deal but he didn’t reveal what the decision was. Trump also trashed the deal, calling it the “worst…one-sided transactions” that America ever entered into. Trump also called the accord an “embarrassment.”

“The Iranian government masks a corrupt dictatorship behind the false guise of a democracy. It has turned a wealthy country with a rich history and culture into an economically depleted rogue state whose chief exports are violence, bloodshed and chaos,” Trump had said in his address to the UNGA.

The Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is set to meet his US counterpart Rex Tillerson for the first time as part of the accord, which also involves five other major powers part of the deal – China, Russia, France, Germany and the UK.

“It is an agreement that took over two years of negotiation over every single word and every single sentence,” Javad Zarif said completely ruling out re-opening of negotiations.

Iran also threatened with consequences if US pulled out of the deal.

“It means that our hand would be completely open to take any action that we see as beneficial to our country,” Zarif warned.

The dispute centers on uranium enrichment, which Iran says is for civilian use but critics led by Israel say is intended to build nuclear weapons.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

Meanwhile, French President Emmanuel Macron called for the Iran nuclear deal to be expanded to include measures to restrict ballistic missile development and to prolong its controls on uranium enrichment.

“We have to keep the 2015 agreement because it was a good one with strong monitoring of the current situation, and and we have to add two or three pillars,” Macron told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

“But it would be a mistake to abandon the agreement without anything else,” Macron added.

New York: President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. AP/PTI

New York: President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017. AP/PTI

The nuclear agreement deal struck in July 2015 between the Obama administration, Iran, China, Russia, France, Germany and the UK requires that Iran severely curb its nuclear activities in return for global sanctions relief.

(With inputs from agencies)