Iran’s hard line: Return to nuclear deal as is, no changes, no new partners

Iran lets Biden administration know: Iran nuclear deal is non-negotiable, no new parties to any talks.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman on Saturday said Iran will not accept any changes to the nuclear deal and the parties to the deal are “unchangeable.” The only way to revive the deal is for the U.S. to return to the agreement’s terms, it said.

In a statement released on the Iranian Foreign Ministry website, spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh rejected any flexibility on the part of the Iranians to changing any part of the 2015 agreement that the U.S. withdrew from in 2018.

While President Joe Biden has said he wants to bring the U.S. back into the deal as soon as Iran resumes compliance, Tehran earlier this month greatly accelerated its enrichment of uranium needed to produce nuclear weapons and said it would resume its obligations under the agreement if all other sides, including America, respected the terms it previously agreed to.

“The UN Security Council Resolution 2231 is a multilateral international agreement ratified by Security Council, and is in no way negotiable and the parties are clear and unchangeable,” Khatibzadeh said.

His remarks on additional parties to the deal were in response to French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments on Friday that new talks with Tehran should include regional players like Saudi Arabia.

“The United States has withdrawn from this agreement and Europe has been unable to maintain it,” Khatibzadeh said, adding that if the U.S. and Europe wanted to revive and maintain the nuclear deal, the only way is for the U.S. to return to the same terms and remove all of its sanctions imposed on the Islamic Republic under former President Donald Trump.

Macron had tried to push a hard line with the Iranians, telling the Al Arabiya news website during a media briefing in Paris: “Dialogue with Iran will be rigorous, and they will need to include our allies in the region for a nuclear deal, and this includes Saudi Arabia.”

Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates want to be involved in any new talks with Iran, sharing Israel’s concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program that was not included in the original nuclear deal, as well as Iranian support for terrorist groups in the region.

Khatibzadeh called on Macron to “exercise restraint and refrain from hasty and ill-considered positions.”