Iran's FM against Trump: Nuclear deal can't be renegotiated

Mohammad Javad Zarif says the nuclear deal with world powers can't be renegotiated, despite Trump's pledge to do so if elected.

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Ben Ariel,

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif
Reuters

Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said on Wednesday that the nuclear deal reached last year with world powers can't be renegotiated, despite Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's pledge to do so if elected.

Speaking after a lecture in Stockholm and quoted by The Associated Press (AP), Zarif said the deal "is not an Iran-U.S. agreement for the Republican front-runner or anybody else to renegotiate. It's an international understanding annexed to a Security Council resolution."

Trump has denounced the deal and said he would seek to renegotiate it if elected president. One of those times came during his speech at the AIPAC policy conference, where he declared that his number one number priority is to roll back the “disastrous” deal with Iran.

“This deal is catastrophic, for America, for Israel and for the whole Middle East,” he said at the time.

Trump’s son Eric said this week his father decided to launch his campaign due to the controversial deal.

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton has said she supports the agreement to rein in Iran's nuclear program, which was endorsed by the UN Security Council, noted AP.

It's not possible "to renegotiate a text that is annexed" to such a resolution, Zarif said on Wednesday.

There has been great criticism over the nuclear deal for a variety of issues, with many noting that a similar deal sealed by former President Bill Clinton with North Korea in 1994 paved the regime's path to a nuclear arsenal. The country's first nuclear test took place in 2006.

The deal allows Iran to wait until limitations on its nuclear program expire in 15 years, at which point it could race to building a nuclear arsenal.

Alternatively, it is feared Iran can easily breach the deal which has Tehran inspect its own covert nuclear facilities such as Parchin, requiring a notice of 24 days before international inspectors can access such sites.

Another aspect that has been criticized is how the nuclear deal does not address Iran's role as the leading state sponsor of terrorism and grants it a massive windfall in sanctions kickbacks. Tehran has shown an increasingly hostile stance towards the U.S. since the deal, breaching UN sanctions in ballistic missile tests and briefly holding Navy sailors hostage.

Obama's administration for its part was recently revealed by senior White House aide Ben Rhodes as having tricked the public on the nuclear deal, using an "echo chamber" of supportive groups to sell the deal and falsely claiming the talks were launched with "moderate" Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when he came into office in 2013, when in reality they were started with hardliners a year before.