N-deal with major powers 'in no way renegotiable'

In tune Boris Johnson
and Mohammad Javad
Zarif in Brussels

Iran has said that a decision by the United States, to impose sanctions on the head of its judiciary "crossed a red line", and has vowed to retaliate. "We will be discussing this with our European partners and with the United States and will respond in detail in due course".

"We agree on this approach, we want to protect [the deal] against every possible decision that might undermine it", Germany's Sigmar Gabriel said alongside his French and British counterparts and European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini after meeting Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

China will continue playing a constructive role in maintaining and implementing the Iran nuclear deal, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Saturday.

The Iranian statement said the targeting of one of the officials, judiciary chief Sadegh Amoli Larijani, "crossed all behavioral red lines of the global community". In the absence of such an agreement, the U.S. will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal.

"If other nations fail to act during this time, I will terminate our deal with Iran", warned Trump.

On Friday, the US Treasury Department announced the decision to impose sanctions on 14 individuals and entities responsible for "serious human rights abuses and censorship in Iran".

But the president also promised to scrap the landmark agreement in 120 days if Congress and European allies don't meet his new demands for strengthening the deal - throwing down the gauntlet on a signature achievement of Barack Obama's presidency.

Trump laid out conditions to keep Washington in the deal.

Republican Senator Bob Corker said "significant progress" had been made on bipartisan congressional legislation to address "flaws in the agreement without violating USA commitments". That has put Trump in a tough position, given his opposition to the deal.

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But proponents of the deal say that it forced Iran to destroy much of its nuclear equipment and allow strict inspections that prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Trump's ultimatum was also paired with fresh sanctions against Iran for alleged human rights abuses and ballistic missile development.

Iran promised a strong reaction to the sanctions, which it said violate worldwide law and prior U.S. commitments.

"My impression talking to Europeans is, yes, they want to salvage the deal", but imposing new requirements on Iran may give it reason to walk away.

America's allies see the accord as the best way to thwart Iran's nuclear ambitions and a victory for multilateral diplomacy.

Iran's Foreign Ministry said in a statement reported by the state-run IRNA news agency that it "will not move beyond its commitments" in the 2015 agreement and "will accept no change in the letter and spirit of the nuclear accord". The other parties to the agreement would have been unlikely to join the United States in reimposing sanctions.

Britain, France and Germany had called on Trump on Thursday to uphold the pact.

Iran has said its nuclear program is strictly for peaceful uses.

Sen. Benjamin Cardin of Maryland, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called Trump's statement an "ultimatum" and said the president is "making negotiations with Europe more hard by the way he's laying out the conditions". My policy is to deny Iran all paths to a nuclear weapon-not just for ten years, but forever.

The foreign affairs deputy minister in Moscow, Sergei Ryabkov noted that Russian Federation has a very pessimistic stance on the documents and decisions made by the American president about the Iran nuclear deal.

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