Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani Says Trump ‘Failed’ to Kill off Nuclear Deal

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani mocked Donald Trump for failing to kill off the Iran nuclear deal despite the U.S. leader’s 2016 election promise to do so. says the United States has failed to undermine a nuclear deal between Tehran and the world’s major powers, and hailed the accord as a “long-lasting victory” for Iran, Tasnim News Agency reported.

Speaking at an academic conference in Tehran on Sunday, Rouhani played down criticisms regarding the flaws in the JCPOA, saying it is an agreement that the U.S. president has failed to scrap despite all his attempts over the past year.

“The American administration has failed to undermine the nuclear deal … Trump, despite his repeated efforts, has failed to undermine the accord. Trump’s failure means victory for international commitments and victory of law over dictatorship. I am very happy to see that the White House has failed to disrupt international obligations, break loyalty and stand against the resolution of the United Nations Security Council which was the outcome of an agreement among seven countries,” the president added.

He also said that certain achievements of the JCPOA would never fade, as the agreement proved that all complicated issues in the world could be settled through negotiations.

Iran says the nuclear deal is not renegotiable and it will stick to the accord as long as the other signatories respect it but will “shred” the deal if Washington pulls out. Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its nuclear programme, in exchange for the lifting of most sanctions.

On Friday, Trump agreed to waive sanctions against Iran for the last time to give the U.S. and European allies a final chance to amend the pact. He also delivered an ultimatum to European signatories of the deal to fix the “terrible flaws” of the agreement with Iran, or the U.S. would pull out.

“This is the last chance. In the absence of such an agreement, the United States will not again waive sanctions in order to stay in the Iran nuclear deal. And if at any time I judge that such an agreement is not within reach, I will withdraw from the deal immediately. No one should doubt my word,” Trump said Friday.

The U.S. President must sign such waivers every few months under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), an agreement brokered in 2015 that obliges Iran to restrict its nuclear program in exchange for the easing of sanctions.

Despite keeping the deal intact, Trump stirred ire in Tehran on Friday by announcing fresh separate sanctions on 14 Iranian individuals and entities at the same time. Among them was the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Amoli Larijani.

Rouhani’s remarks were the latest in a tit-for-tat exchange between Trump and Iranian officials over the deal, as well as anti-government protests that took place across the country recently. Trump openly supported the protesters, who staged the biggest challenge to the Iranian regime since 2009. The U.S. State Department also openly encouraged Iranians to protest.

Many of the new U.S. sanctions on Iran were in response to the government’s crackdown on the largely peaceful protests. Others were linked to support for the country’s ballistic missile program, which falls outside the scope of the nuclear deal.

In a bizarre kicker in the waiver announcement, the U.S. indicated it hoped to rewrite much of the nuclear agreement and to get its European allies, who wholly back the deal as it is, to do the bargaining for it. European foreign ministers on Thursday urged Trump to sign the waiver and support the deal. The 2015 agreement was brokered by the Obama administration, along with the UK, Russia, France, Germany, and China.