Trump wants JCPOA nullified at Iran's expense: Zarif
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has lashed out at US President Donald Trump for seeking to scrap at the expense of the Islamic Republic the landmark nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, including Washington, in 2015.
The US president has always wanted to “kill” the nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Zarif said on his official Twitter account on Friday.
“To avoid isolation, he’s trying to blame it on Iran,” he added.
“Bad faith on top of US violating the letter and spirit [of the JCPOA],” the top Iranian diplomat said.
The US president on Thursday claimed that Iran was not “living up to the spirit” of the JCPOA and said he thought it was a "horrible agreement."
“I don't think Iran is in compliance. I don't think they're living up to the spirit of the agreement,” Trump said in New Jersey.
Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China – plus Germany reached the JCPOA on July 14, 2015 and began implementing it in January 2016.
Under the agreement, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for, among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against the Islamic Republic.
The UN Security Council later unanimously endorsed a resolution that effectively turned the JCPOA into international law.
Trump has been a virulent critic of the JCPOA signed under his predecessor Barack Obama, calling it "the worst deal ever."
However, the US Senate and Treasury Department have imposed new sanctions against the Islamic Republic and several Iranian companies and individuals in recent months over its national missile program, which is not in breach of the JCPOA.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov also said on Friday that the Trump administration’s skepticism about the “successful” nuclear deal was a pity.
Speaking in a meeting with students broadcast live by state television, Lavrov expressed regret that “our American partners” call the JCPOA into question.
“In the Trump administration they continue calling these agreements wrong and erroneous, and it's a pity that such a successful treaty is now somewhat being cast into doubt,” the Russian foreign minister said.
Lavrov’s remarks come as the Iranian Parliament is set to vote on a motion which incorporates a host of retaliatory measures in the face of US “acts of terror” and “adventurism” in the region.
The bill, which was passed by the Parliament’s Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy on Wednesday, is scheduled to be put on the parliament’s agenda next Sunday.