A high-ranking Iranian official says the Islamic Republic will never accept to renegotiate the terms of a nuclear agreement it clinched with the P5+1 group of countries more than two years ago.
Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said on Tuesday that Iran accepted negotiations over its nuclear program only once and engaged in protracted talks with the P5+1 group to reach the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
Velayati made the remarks in response to earlier comments by French President Emmanuel Macron, whose country is a party to the JCPOA, about the possibility of renegotiating the provisions of the nuclear deal after their scheduled expiration in 2025.
The possibility was raised in the French leader’s separate one-on-one meetings with US President Donald Trump and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Monday on the sidelines of the 72nd annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, French officials said.
“Any doubt by any country about this agreement is not acceptable [to Iran] and this proposal [by French president] will not be accepted at all,” Velayati said.
European Union's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said on Monday that the JCPOA worked fine and belonged to the entire world, not just the United States.
“This deal belongs to the international community,” the top EU diplomat said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif also said on Thursday that the JCPOA was not renegotiable, stressing that there was no better alternative to the deal.
“A ‘better' deal is pure fantasy,” Zarif tweeted, adding that it was time for the US to "stop spinning and begin complying, just like Iran."
'Iran supports territorial integrity of all regional countries'
Elsewhere in his remarks, Velayati pointed to the upcoming planned referendum on the independence of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, saying that Iran pursued a “very clear” stance on the issue.
He added that Iran supported the territorial integrity of all regional countries, including Iraq, adding that a referendum in one part of an independent country like Iraq would be a prelude to its breakup.
“Undoubtedly, the legitimate Iraqi government, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the international community oppose this issue,” the senior Iranian official pointed out.
He said the US, some other Western countries and Zionists that played a direct role in creating chaos in Syria, have devised a new plan apparently for the partition of regional countries in the name of independence, but they would fail in implementing this plan as well.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is against such referendums and efforts, which are [apparently] aimed at gaining independence, but in fact, seek partition of [regional] countries,” Velayati added.
Iraq's Supreme Court on Monday ordered the deferral of the September 25 referendum on the independence of the country's Kurdish region to examine whether such a poll would be constitutional.
The Iraqi parliament voted on September 13 to reject the plebiscite, requiring Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the central government in Baghdad to “take all steps to protect the unity of Iraq and open a serious dialogue” with Kurdish leaders." The decision prompted a walkout by Kurdish lawmakers.