Iran rejects Trump's call to renegotiate terms of nuclear deal


In a statement issued by the White House, the president called Iran the leading state sponsor of terrorism and said the nuclear deal contains "disastrous flaws" that must be fixed.

Iran also refused to accept any changes to its 2015 nuclear deal with the world powers.

Russia, which is also a signatory to the JCPOA, said on Saturday the USA would be making a grave mistake by pulling out of Iran's nuclear deal and underlined Moscow's determination to keep the landmark accord intact.

Zarif slammed Trump's reluctant announcement on Iran's nuclear sanctions waiver as a "desperate attempt" to undermine the deal.

In a statement, Trump said, "Today, I am waiving the application of certain nuclear sanctions, but only in order to secure our European allies' agreement to fix the bad flaws of the Iran nuclear deal". The EU said in a statemen t on Friday that it had taken note of Trump's decision and would assess its implications.

The US also declared sanctions against 14 entities and people, including Iran's head of judiciary Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani.

While Trump has repeatedly railed that the deal was "one of the worst" that the US had signed, the European Union's foreign policy chief has publicly disagreed in the past.

The deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was reached in 2015 among Iran, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States) plus Germany and the European Union. "He wants to deny Iran access to nuclear weapons forever and not just for 10 years", one of the officials said.

The Thursday meeting in Brussels is part of diplomacy on both sides of the Atlantic before deadlines related to the deal falling this month, including deciding whether to reimpose oil sanctions lifted under the deal. Russia will explain persistently to the USA the depravity and viciousness of its sanctions-based policies against Iran and the DPRK, Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told TASS on Saturday.

Trump also wants Congress to modify a law that reviews U.S. participation in the nuclear deal to include "trigger points" that if violated would lead to the United States reimposing its sanctions, the official said.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said Trump's aggressive stance on the deal and Iran generally have also violated the commitment to "refrain from any policy specifically meant to directly and adversely affect the normalisation of trade and economic relations with Iran" in the accord.

A decision to withhold a waiver would have effectively ended the deal that limits Iran's nuclear program.

The officials notably did not say that Trump expected the other two nations party to the deal - Russian Federation and China - to join in the revision of the deal. I said I would not certify the nuclear deal-and I did not.

USA officials and others familiar with the administration's deliberations told The Associated Press that Trump is likely to back the accord for now but that he may pair his decision with new, targeted sanctions on Iranian businesses and people. Those mainly targeted Iranian defense officials, as well as a China-based network the USA says is supporting Iran's missile program.

And the argument the Europeans make is you want to keep the spotlight on the Iranian administration, on the Iranian leadership.