‘Absurd’ to negotiate with disloyal Washington: Rouhani

October 29, 2017

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday rejected negotiations with Washington, saying it is “absurd” to hold talks with a country that violates previous agreements.

TEHRAN – President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday rejected negotiations with Washington, saying it is “absurd” to hold talks with a country that violates previous agreements.

“Some say the previous accord we reached should remain up in the air for now; but let’s talk about another issue,” Rouhani said in a speech in parliament.

The president was referring to Washington’s lack of commitment to the nuclear agreement, or the JCPOA, which Iran signed with six world powers, including the U.S.

According to the agreement, backed by a UN Security Council resolution, Iran accepted to put limits on its nuclear activities in exchange for termination of economic and financial sanctions.
 
So far the IAEA, the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog body, has released eight reports each time confirming Iran’s adherence to the nuclear agreement.

Rouhani’s comments come after U.S. President Donald Trump refused to certify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, leaving the fate of the deal in hands of Congress.

The president criticized Trump’s move, saying, “You are disregarding past negotiations and agreements approved by the United Nations Security Council and expect others to negotiate with you?”

“Because of the behavior it has adopted, America should forget any future talks and agreement with other countries,” he said, in an apparent reference to North Korea.

Rouhani also dismissed calls for talks over Tehran’s missile program, saying, “We have built, are building and will continue to build missiles, and this violates no international agreements.”

“We are not violating UN Resolution 2231.”

Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear agreement, calls upon Iran “not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons, including launches using such ballistic missile technology.” 

Iran has repeatedly denied its missile program breaches the resolution.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said early October that Iran’s missiles are all conventional and defensive in nature and Tehran keeps testing them to attain the highest precision, which is not a necessary feature for nuclear-tipped missiles.

However, days ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted for new sanctions on Iran’s ballistic missile and pledged to impose sanctions on Iranian government or foreign entities that support it.

“We will produce any weapons of any kind that we need and stockpile it and use it at any time to defend ourselves,” Rouhani asserted.

MH/PA

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