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‘Exercise in futility’: Iran warns against making any deals with US ahead of Trump-Kim meeting
Washington’s desire to unilaterally renegotiate the landmark international nuclear accord with Tehran should be seen as a “very dangerous message” by anyone planning to engage in talks with the US, warned Iran’s foreign minister.
“The United States has not only failed to implement its side [of the deal with Tehran], but is even asking for more,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters in New York, where he is attending a UN General Assembly meeting.
“That’s a very dangerous message to send to the people of Iran, but also to the people of the world – that you should never come to an agreement with the United States because, at the end of the day, the operating principle of the United States is ‘what’s mine is mine, what’s yours is negotiable,’” he said, as cited by Reuters.
The Iranian FM also warned Washington’s allies, France and Germany, who have not yet definitively ruled out the possibility of ‘amending’ the deal, that trying to “appease” US President Donald Trump would be “an exercise in futility.”
Iran’s warning comes after North Korea made a surprise announcement on Saturday, declaring its nuclear test program frozen indefinitely, ahead of the high-level talks with Seoul – and a planned historic meeting between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump. It also comes ahead of the May 12 deadline for Trump to decide on the fate of the Iranian nuclear deal
Known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal was brokered back in 2015 by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Before and especially after assuming office, Trump vehemently criticized the agreement as the “worst deal ever negotiated,” and –since Iran’s strict commitment has been independently verified– accused Tehran of violating its “spirit.” In January, Trump stated that he was certifying the JCPOA for the “last” time and warned he would pull out of the deal unless its “terrible flaws” were fixed. He is expected to make a decision on the matter before the May 12 deadline.
While Iran repeatedly warned it might swiftly revive its nuclear program if Trump scraps the deal, Zarif noted that there are several options on the table, but “whatever that decision will be, it won’t be very pleasant to the United States.”
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