Iranian President Hassan Rohani says U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration have “failed to undermine” Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers and has praised the agreement as a “long-lasting victory” for Iran.
In a live broadcast by Iranian state television of a speech on January 14, Rohani said: “Trump, despite his repeated efforts, has failed to undermine the accord.”
“The deal is a long-lasting victory for Iran,” Rohani said, referring to the accord Tehran signed in 2015 with the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and China.
Trump on January 12 said the United States would pull out of the deal unless the European signatories fixed what he called “terrible flaws” in the agreement.
The other signatories to the pact have urged the United States to continue to adhere to the agreement.
A statement from French President Emmanuel Macron on January 13 called for the "necessary respect" of the nuclear deal.
Tehran on January 13 rejected the notion of any modification of the 2015 nuclear accord, which requires Iran to curb its nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.
Iran insists its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes, while the United States and other countries claim it has been trying to develop nuclear weapons.
Trump on January 12 said he would extend sanctions relief to Iran under the deal, leaving the accord intact for now.
But Trump wants the pact strengthened with a separate agreement within 120 days and has said the United States would pull out of the existing accord if such steps are not taken.
Among the changes Trump is demanding is that Iran allow more timely inspections of sites requested by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the elimination of so-called “sunset clauses,” under which some of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program expire over time.
In addition, Trump demanded that the deal should state that Iran's nuclear effort and its missile programs are inseparable.
U.S. and other officials have complained that Iran's ballistic-missile program can easily be converted for nuclear use.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Macron in a phone call on January 13 that Europe would be “wise” to the strengthen the landmark nuclear deal, saying it would increase the chances of it remaining in effect.
According to a statement released by Netanyahu’s office, the Israeli leader told Macron that Trump's “remarks should be taken seriously, and whoever wants to keep the nuclear deal would be wise to fix it."
Netanyahu also told Macron the world should "strongly condemn" what he called "five crimes of the Iranian regime."
He cited what he said were efforts by Tehran to obtain nuclear weapons, develop ballistic missiles, and support terrorist organizations, as well as what he called regional aggression, and "the cruel repression of Iranian citizens."
With reporting by Reuters and AFP