Rouhani: European plan not implemented because of Trump

Iranian President Trump thwarted European plan to bolster 2015 nuclear deal by threatening more sanctions.

Elad Benari ,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that his country supports a plan by European countries to bolster a nuclear deal that Tehran reached with the West in 2015 and from which the United States withdrew last year, The Associated Press reports.

Rouhani said the plan included preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, securing its support for regional peace, lifting US sanctions and the immediate resumption of Iranian oil exports.

“We agree with the general framework by the Europeans,” said Rouhani, according to AP.

The comments follow reports on Tuesday that Trump and Rouhani agreed on a four-point plan presented by French President Emmanuel Macron at the United Nations, but Rouhani refused to meet with Trump after the American president refused to first lift all sanctions on Iran.

The document called on Iran to agree to "never acquire a nuclear weapon" and “fully comply with its nuclear obligations and commitments and will accept a negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear activities.”

In addition, Iran was called upon to “refrain from any aggression and will seek genuine peace and respect in the region through negotiations."

Rouhani claimed on Wednesday that Iran has never been after nuclear weapons and whenever the rights of the Iranian nation are considered in plans and negotiations, “the road is not closed, and the road is again open.”

He added the plan could have been discussed during his New York visit last week to attend the UN General Assembly but Trump scuppered chances by openly threatening to impose more sanctions.

According to Rouhani, Trump in a private message had told the Europeans he was ready but later told media outlets he wanted to intensify sanctions. Rouhani expressed gratitude for efforts by President Macron regarding the plan.

Tensions between the US and Iran have increased since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal last May. He later imposed two rounds of sanctions on Iran, the latest of which went into effect in November of 2018.

Iran, in turn, has scaled back its compliance with the 2015 deal.

During Trump’s speech at the UN General Assembly, he accused the Iranian government of a "fanatical quest" for nuclear weapons.

Rouhani later claimed that America, not Iran, is the key supporter of Middle East terrorism and added that Trump has been misguided in his criticisms of Iran.