Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said Tehran will bypass Washington and negotiate with the other signatories of a multinational nuclear deal, calling the US withdrawal from the landmark pact “unacceptable”, reports said.
Rouhani’s comments on Tuesday came shortly after US President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal, formally known as formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), describing it “defective at its core”.
In response, Rouhani said: “If we achieve the deal’s goals in cooperation with other members of the deal, it will remain in place.
“By exiting the deal, America has officially undermined its commitment to an international treaty.”
“I have ordered the foreign ministry to negotiate with the European countries, China and Russia in coming weeks. If at the end of this short period we conclude that we can fully benefit from the JCPOA with the cooperation of all countries, the deal would remain,” he added.
Under the deal signed in Vienna in 2015 with six world powers – the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – Iran scaled back its uranium enrichment programme and promised not to pursue nuclear weapons.
In exchange, international sanctions were lifted, allowing it to sell its oil and gas worldwide. However, secondary US sanctions remain.
UN inspectors have repeatedly confirmed that Tehran has been meeting its nuclear commitments fully.
“They’ve done nothing except put empty signatures on pieces of paper, without doing anything about it,” Rouhani said in his televised address.
“The Iranian mission, on the other hand, has agreed to everything and accomplished all its responsibilities. We had some duties based on that agreement and we have delivered all of them.
“But today, we can see which is the country that doesn’t respect international agreements. We’ve done nothing wrong – it’s not acceptable that the US is pulling out.”