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President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a press conference in Tehran on Feb. 6.
President Hassan Rouhani speaks at a press conference in Tehran on Feb. 6.

Rouhani: JCPOA Policy Based on Interests

“The key to [the creation of] a new climate in future Iran-US ties depends on Washington”

Rouhani: JCPOA Policy Based on Interests

Iran will stay in the nuclear agreement as long as its interests are served, President Hassan Rouhani said on Tuesday, ruling out any renegotiation of the international accord. 
Any decision by Iran regarding the nuclear deal will be based on the country's interests and will not be affected by US actions, Rouhani said at a press conference in Tehran, when asked whether Iran will keep honoring the agreement if Washington pulls out of it.
US President Donald Trump gave the nuclear agreement a final reprieve on January 12 but warned European allies and the US Congress they have to work with him to fix "the disastrous flaws" in the pact or face a US exit. 
Rouhani said Tehran will continue to act based on its principles and will never be the first to violate the 2015 pact negotiated by Iran, the United States, China, Russia, Britain, Germany, and France, the president's official website reported. 
He also said the agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, cannot be renegotiated, adding, "Not even one line will be added to the JCPOA, nor will even one line be removed from it." 

The president said the nuclear deal is an international agreement signed between seven countries and other issues, such as Iran's defense capabilities, are unrelated to it.
The US administration has been trying to persuade the European nations that negotiated the agreement to accept side deals under which they would join the US in reimposing sanctions if Tehran continues ballistic missile testing. Rouhani said the country's defense policy is non-negotiable.
US withdrawal from the deal will undermine its credibility on the international stage, he said, adding, "Trump's mistake is that he thinks the JCPOA is a commitment made by the Democratic Party, while it is a commitment by the US government."

Golden Opportunity 
Rouhani also noted that the Americans could have used the "golden opportunity" provided by the conclusion of the nuclear deal to create a new climate in the relations between the two countries through fulfilling their commitments but they missed it.
"The key to [the creation of] a new climate in future Iran-US ties is in the hands of Washington," he said.
The president added that if the US changes its policy of threats and sanctions, a new atmosphere will be created.

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